By Ann Curry
GENEVA – Secretary of State John Kerry and leaders from five other world powers early Sunday reached a nuclear deal with Iran, following intense negotiations that took place over several days in Geneva.
The deal represents a historic breakthrough in the world’s decade-long nuclear standoff with Iran, and in the 35-year-long diplomatic freeze between Iran and the United States.
By Elise Labott
Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday he had some ideas on how to change Syrian President Bashar al-Assad‘s thinking about remaining in power, which he hopes will persuade the embattled leader to negotiate with the opposition on an end to the violence.
“We need to address the question of President Assad’s calculation currently. I believe there are additional things that can be done to change his current perception,” Kerry told reporters after meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, adding: “I’ve got a good sense of what I think we might propose.”
Kerry didn’t elaborate, but said he planned to discuss the ideas during his first official overseas trip. He is expected to visit European and Mideast capitals later this month, although the trip has not yet been announced
But his stated desire to find a new approach toward Syria belies a reluctance from the White House to become more actively involved. The United States has limited its support to humanitarian aid and nonlethal aid to the opposition, ruling out military intervention and arguing that supplying weapons to the rebels would only further militarize the conflict and risk arms ending up in the hands of extremists.
By NBC’s Ali Weinberg
RICHMOND, VA — President Barack Obama touted the endorsement of former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell’s endorsement, suggesting it was a nod of support to his record on foreign policy and defense.
Addressing a crowd of 15,000 here at a public park, Obama said, “I was proud to learn that we have Colin Powell’s support in this campaign.”
“I’m grateful to him for his lifetime of service to his country both as a soldier and a diplomat. And every brave American who wears this uniform of this country should know that as long as I am your Commander in Chief, we will sustain the strongest military this world has ever known.
“We will be relentless in pursuit of our enemies. Those are promises I’ve kept.”
Military spending is a key issue in swing state Virginia, home to several bases as well as many civilian defense employees, who live primarily in Northern Virginia.
“President Obama says that ‘trust matters,’ but Virginians already know that he cannot be trusted to protect our military or our economy. Under President Obama, our military stands to be cut by nearly $1 trillion and he has no plan whatsoever to save the 136,000 Virginia jobs that could be eliminated because of his cuts,” said Curt Cashour, Romney’s spokesman for Virginia. “To make matters worse, the president’s liberal policies are killing jobs in Virginia as we speak.”
After his speech, the president was headed to Chicago where he would become the first sitting president to vote early in person.