US returns to nuke talks

Two top State Department negotiators are set to talk with Iranian officials about Tehran's nuclear program in Geneva early next week. 

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman will hold talks on Monday and Tuesday, weeks ahead of a July 20 deadline to solidify a deal.


The U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany reached an interim deal in November to impose sanctions on Iran's uranium enrichment program. In return, some penalties imposed against Iran were eased. Burns was part of initial negotiations.

Republican lawmakers, especially potential 2016 presidential contenders, have blasted the Obama Administration for weakening U.S. foreign policy by negotiating with Iran.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) have both decried President Obama’s willingness to threaten Israel’s security by allowing Iran to have nuclear capabilities.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders thanks Iowa voters for giving momentum to progressive agenda Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Arizona newspaper backs Democrat in dead heat Senate race MORE, widely considered the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination, has voiced skepticism that negotiations will work.

"Now President Obama has said that the odds of getting a comprehensive agreement are 50-50. I personally am skeptical that the Iranians will follow through and deliver," she said to the American Jewish Committee's global forum in Washington last month.

"I've seen many false hopes dashed over the years, but nonetheless this is a promising development and we need to test it to see what can be achieved," she added.