On Monday, United States Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the residence of Iran’s United Nations Ambassador overlooking Central Park in New York. This was the first time the two have met since April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland, when the two agreed on the limitations restricting Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Now, the two parties are facing the June 30 deadline that they themselves have put in place. However, this does not mean that Kerry has not had the opportunity to treat foreign officials to some of the best culinary experiences in Boston.
The six major nuclear powers of the world are nearing a nuclear deal with Iran that could end the 12-year standoff. Kerry and Iran’s Zarif said little to the press at the meeting at the Central Park residence. However, just prior to the meeting, while at a U.N. conference discussing the Non-Proliferation Treaty that was established in 1970 to prevent the spread of nuclear technology, Kerry communicated that they are closer than ever to reaching a deal that will satisfy all involved. He went on to say that in the long run, this deal will make the entire world safer, but the “hard work is far from over and some key issues remain unresolved.”
The month long U.N. conference, meeting between Kerry and Zarif, and a handful of other meetings have been leading to the Senate debate that begins Tuesday. U.S. lead negotiator Wendy Sherman has been meeting with reform Jews in Washington emphasizing the necessity of the diplomatic process. Ernest Moniz, Energy Secretary, has also been reassuring those concerned that the deal that will eventually be agreed upon will most likely be much tougher than what has been seen in the outlines of the deal thus far. While there are signs of progress in the negotiations, there is expected to be a strong opposition by Republican presidential candidates such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
Amidst the nuclear talks, this last weekend Kerry was also able to sit down with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Boston where Kerry has been know to treat foreign dignitaries to the culinary experience. On Sunday, the Kerrys had Boston restaurateur Barbara Lynch “prepare jumbo white asparagus, baked haddock, and cherry gratinée” for the Japanese Prime Minister and his wife. Abe is the first head of state to make the trip to Boston to share in Kerry’s fondness for food from the state he represented for 28 years in the Senate. Kerry has also hosted others to the Boston dining experience including British foreign official Philip Hammond and China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi. He is proud of the current gourmet meals available in Boston and expressed in a Boston Globe interview that he wished this type of experience was available 25 years ago, but he admits it can be tough to impress some of the best palates in the world.
Monday, Kerry met with Iran’s Zarif in the Central Park residence to show his support preceding the Senate debate that begins Tuesday. The Senate still has two months to negotiate terms of the deal. It does appear that each side’s argument has remained the same: one side argues the deal will make the world safer and other side argues it will make the world more dangerous. The deal is now in the hands of Congress.
By Joel Wickwire
Photo by Cliff’s Flickr Page – Creativecommons Creative Commons Flickr License
Photo by yonolatengo’s Flickr License – Creativecommons Creative Commons Flickr License