Harf: We Only Went Over Nuclear Deadline By a Couple of Days

June 1, 2015

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said she thinks that when the United States negotiated a framework for Iran’s nuclear program, being two days past the deadline was not cause for concern.

The U.S. and its foreign partners are in negotiations with Iran for a final deal. The deadline for these negotiations is June 30. Harf was asked why Secretary of State John Kerry is committed to the June 30 deadline when the Iranians and French officials don’t seem to feel the same.

"Deadlines are often an action forcing mechanism in negotiations," Harf said. "If you look at when the final toughest issues often get worked out, as we’ve seen in Lausanne, as we’ve seen before, it’s often closer to the end, because you have a deadline and that’s forcing action."

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee said that the deadline doesn’t seem to mean a lot since the U.S. missed the last one. In April, the U.S. announced a framework agreement with Iran about their nuclear program in Lausanne. Negotiations for the framework agreement went two days past the March 31 deadline.

"A deadline is a deadline," Lee said. "If you miss the deadline, you miss the deadline and Lausanne missed the deadline."

"But only by a couple of days," Harf said.

Lee said it didn't matter, but Harf protested it did since every day more progress was made.