Secret weapon at the Iran talks: a whiteboard


WASHINGTON: In this hi-tech age of gadgets and gizmos, a simple whiteboard found in classrooms around the globe was the tool that helped negotiators seal the complex parameters of a Iran nuclear deal. Until the final hours, US diplomats who had spent eight days locked in a Lausanne hotel hammering out the outlines of what could be one of the most complex arms-control treaties ever feared their efforts would be in vain. It was the highly-organized Under Secretary Wendy Sherman, who has led the negotiations, who early on hit on the idea of a whiteboard as a way of illustrating what she has long referred to as a “Rubik’s cube.” In Lausanne the whiteboard on wheels followed her from room to room as she and Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his team. The idea was to try “to make sure that we and Iran were seeing the picture in the same way,” another senior administration official said.



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