CBS’s Palmer Laments ‘Pain’ of Iran Sanctions; Kerry Injury Hurts ‘Dynamic’ of Nuclear Talks

On Monday’s CBS Evening News, fill-in anchor Charlie Rose and foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer bemoaned the impact of international sanctions on the Iranian economy with Palmer also fretting that Secretary of State John Kerry’s leg injury could hurt the “dynamic” of nuclear talks between the U.S., its allies, and Iran on a proposed deal.

Prior to Palmer’s report from Tehran, Rose noted that “[t]he deadline for concluding a deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear program is June 30” and could mean that “painful economic sanctions would be lifted.” 

Palmer began by echoing Rose’s thoughts on the sanctions: 

There's no getting away from the pain of U.S. sanctions here. Grocery prices are up 20 percent over the past year. Gas and electricity have doubled. Iranians want it to stop. So they're watching the nuclear talks closely, most desperate for a deal.

Following a brief mention of how some Iranians are against any deal, Palmer outlined a few of the obstacles that remain for a deal, including “how fast the sanctions against Iran would be lifted” and “how much access international inspectors will have to Iran's military installations to check that they are not developing nuclear weapons.”

On the subject of Kerry’s injury, Palmer stated that it “has come at a bad time” considering the fact that “[h]e gets along very well with Iran's foreign minister, and their close relationship has driven these negotiations forward.”

Capping it off, Palmer remarked that “[i]t's just not going to be the same dynamic if the secretary is grounded in Washington.”

When Palmer reported on April 4 for CBS This Morning: Saturday following the framework of a deal, she observed how, “[a]t Friday prayers, there was the usual chant of death to America, but more habit than conviction.”

The transcript of the segment from the CBS Evening News on June 1 can be found below.

CBS Evening News
June 1, 2015
6:38 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Nuclear Talks]

CHARLIE ROSE: The deadline for concluding a deal to curtail Iran's nuclear program is June 30th. In return, painful economic sanctions would be lifted. So, what are the chances this can be worked out? Liz Palmer went looking for answers in Tehran. 

ELIZABETH PALMER: There's no getting away from the pain of U.S. sanctions here. Grocery prices are up 20 percent over the past year. Gas and electricity have doubled. Iranians want it to stop. So they're watching the nuclear talks closely, most desperate for a deal. Of course, not everyone is on side. Hardliners see an agreement as a capitulation to America. Hossein Shariatmadari is a well-known conservative. [TO SHARIATMADARI] Do you think there will be a nuclear deal a month from now? 

HOSSEIN SHARIATMADARI [translated]: Never

PALMER: Never? Never, he says, and all the optimism, it's just talk. There was lots of optimism last fall when negotiators came to an interim agreement, but there are now big obstacles ahead. First, how fast the sanctions against Iran would be lifted. The Iranians want relief right away. The U.S. wants a fazed approach. The second is how much access international inspectors will have to Iran's military installations to check that they are not developing nuclear weapons. Iran's supreme leader says there will be no access. The U.S. says that’s a deal breaker. Obviously, Charlie, there's a lot to do before the 30th of June. Secretary Kerry's accident has come at a bad time. He gets along very well with Iran's foreign minister, and their close relationship has driven these negotiations forward. It's just not going to be the same dynamic if the secretary is grounded in Washington. 

ROSE: Thank you, Liz.

NBDaily Foreign Policy Iran Islam CBS CBS Evening News Video Government & Press Elizabeth Palmer State Department Charlie Rose John Kerry
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