With international powers failing to reach a nuclear deal Tuesday that would conclude years of negotiations and missed deadlines, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the US suggested open-ended Iran talks that would extend the terms of the November 2013 interim pact for the unforeseeable future.
Although US President Barack Obama has said that the Vienna talks would either end with a comprehensive deal reflective of a framework drafted in April, or with no agreement at all, the White House hinted Tuesday at a third possible outcome - one that would entail carrying on with talks whilst keeping in place an interim agreement reached in 2013.
The Wall Street Journal quoted White House press secretary Josh Earnest as saying, “We’ve got some bipartisan agreement that this is an available approach that could benefit the United States and our negotiating partners in a way that continues to keep the pressure on Iran to reach a final agreement.”
He said the US would not “walk away from the table as long as the negotiations continue to be useful."
The implementation of this open-ended option would facilitate a continuation of talks with Iran, and maintain limited sanctions relief for Iran as talks carry on, in exchange for Iran's cutting back on parts of its nuclear program. It would enable Washington to continue employing diplomatic means in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat and rule out the option of employing military force.
According to the WSJ, the option is supported by influential republicans such as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.