State: No guarantee of Iran nuclear deal

State: No guarantee of Iran nuclear deal
© Getty Images

There's no guarantee that nuclear talks with Iran will end with a deal this week, the State Department said Monday.

While Secretary of State John Kerry hopes to secure a deal by a July 7 deadline, a spokesman on Monday said "very difficult decisions" have yet to be made.

ADVERTISEMENT
“I think Secretary Kerry was very clear yesterday that they're going to keep working very, very hard here, certainly this week,” department spokesman John Kirby said. “And if hard choices get made, if they can meet agreement on some of these key issues, we could have an agreement this week. But there's no guarantee of that.”

Negotiators set a July 7 deadline after missing a previous June 30 deadline.

The administration hopes to submit text of a deal to Congress by July 9. That will trigger a 30-day period for Congress to review the deal.

If the text is submitted after July 9, Congress will have 60 days to review the text.

“There's still, again, a lot of work to be done on both the political level and the technical level, too,” Kirby said. 

He said some of the remaining sticking points include access to nuclear sites as well as addressing any past military dimension of Iran's nuclear program. 

He also reiterated that Kerry would walk away from talks if he is unsatisfied with what is being offered.

A slew of Republican lawmakers have criticized the administration over the talks.

“I’m deeply concerned that this administration is simply trying to get a deal at any price. ... A bad deal [with Iran] is worse than no deal," said Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) on Fox News' “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.” 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a strident critic of the talks, said a recent video released by Iran's foreign minister was "smug" and showed that Iran had gained an upper hand in the talks. 

“Iran was negotiating from a position of weakness,” Cotton said on ABC's “This Week.” 

“Iran should’ve faced a simple choice: They dismantle their nuclear program entirely, or they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear facilities. As that video shows, they think they’re in a position of strength and that they hold all the cards,” he said.