White House Says 'Genuine' Progress Toward Deal Being Made


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Reports conflicted Monday night on a nuclear deal with Iran.

Depending on the source, there could be breakthroughs or barriers. But as CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, a day that began with hope of an announcement had yet to produce one late Monday.

Monday marked Day 17 of marathon talks in Vienna. During a break, the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zari told reporters he was exhausted – “sleepy and overworked.”

The latest deadline for an agreement expired nearly two weeks ago, and several issues remained unresolved Monday. But the White House said “genuine” progress is being made.

“Typically, some of the more — some of the most difficult issues are the ones that get kicked to the end, and that’s why the president is going to resist any effort to sort of fast-forward through the closing here,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Negotiators have been struggling with what limits to set on nuclear research in Iran, the country’s demands to have the UN arms embargo lifted, and the pace of sanctions relief.

With a deal, Iran would get tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said making a deal with Iran is detrimental.

“So if we make a deal with them, we’re going to release money to them. And the money is going to go to terrorists who are attempting to kill Israelis; Americans,” Giuliani said. “I think the deal is very, very dangerous to American security.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he has serious concerns about the pending agreement.

“I have a whole lot of questions about it; things I’m worried about,” he said. “But I’ll wait to look at the document before coming to a conclusion to see how those questions are answered.”

And CBS News Foreign Affairs Analyst Pamela Falk said a deal with Iran could have a dangerous ripple effect.

“Whatever the deal is that Iran has had, that’s what the Saudis get,” Falk said. “And so we’re looking at the possibility of a really nuclear armed Middle East. And that is really dangerous.”

If and when there is an agreement, Congress has 60 days to review it before the deal is done.