With the decision last week to extend the Iran nuclear deal talks for another seven months, some key members of the US negotiating team, including the State Department’s deputy sanctions chief Richard Nephew, are moving on.
But Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman will stay on as the lead US Iran negotiator, and US officials said some attrition on the team is normal given the grueling nature of the negotiations, which have been underway mostly in Europe for over the past year, and have now been extended until June 30, 2015.
"Our negotiating team has changed over time and will likely continue to do so given the grueling nature of it and the rhythm of people’s lives and other work commitments," State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf told Al-Monitor Dec. 3. "None of those changes have affected the policy or way forward — that continues at the direction of President Obama and Secretary Kerry, no matter who is on the team."
"Richard [Nephew] has been an exceptional colleague in our negotiations with Iran over the past couple years,” former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns told Al-Monitor in a statement. “His skill and creativity, especially on sanctions issues, have been invaluable."
Read the full article at Al-Monitor.