Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, in an interview (Jan. 14) with the Back Channel posted on the front page, spoke about leading the U.S. effort to open direct talks with Iran, expectations for the upcoming Geneva II Syria peace talks, and a three decade career in US diplomacy:
With negotiations set to begin in February between Iran and the P5+1 on a comprehensive nuclear accord, Burns said President Barack Obama’s estimate of 50-50 odds of reaching an agreement is not bad, considering the context.
“The truth is, against the backdrop of the tortuous history of the relationship between the United States and Iran, that’s actually not a bad opportunity to be tested,” Burns said. “And I think it’s very important for us to test it.”
Full report and interview here. Earlier reports on the US-Iran channel: Burns led secret US back channel to Iran (Nov. 24, 2013); Three Days in March: New details on how US, Iran opened direct talks (January 8, 2014).