Tags: Iran | obama | iran | nuclear | deal | walk | away

Obama Says U.S. Willing to Walk Away From Bad Deal With Iran

Sunday, 08 Mar 2015 11:25 AM

The U.S. is prepared to walk away from nuclear talks with Iran if the government in Tehran doesn’t meet terms limiting its nuclear capabilities and submits to verification, President Barack Obama said.

Iran has so far complied with an interim agreement negotiated with the U.S. and other world powers and there’s little to lose by trying to achieve a deal, Obama said in an interview with CBS News interview broadcast Sunday.

“If we have unprecedented transparency in that system, if we are able to verify that in fact they are not developing weapons systems, then there’s a deal to be had,” Obama said. “But that’s going to require them to accept the kind of verification and constraints on their program that so far, at least, they have not been willing to say yes to.”

Obama’s commitment to the negotiations has tested ties with Israel, a mainstay U.S. ally in the Middle East. Obama argues that a nuclear agreement with Iran would improve security in the region, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that a deal would bring Iran a step closer to acquiring nuclear weapons.

Next Round

Talks are scheduled to resume in a week with a deadline of the end of the month to agree on a political framework. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday at a news conference in Paris that it’s up to Iran to complete a deal.

The president made his comments days after Netanyahu addressed the U.S. Congress to argue against an agreement with Iran, a speech that underscored the strain in the historic alliance between the U.S. and Israel.

Netanyahu said the U.S. and other world powers were pursuing a “very bad deal” with Iran that left the Islamic Republic with a substantial nuclear infrastructure. He said the U.S. should use additional sanctions to force Iran to completely abandon its nuclear program.

Obama pledged that any deal he agrees to will be the best possible plan for keeping Iran from obtaining a weapon. The administration is insisting Iran would freeze its nuclear program for at least a decade. The proposal would also extend the breakout time for Iran to develop a weapon to at least 12 months.

Netanyahu Speech

Netanyahu’s speech was scheduled without coordination with the White House, and the president warned that the address risked politicizing the relationship between the two nations. The president and senior administration officials refused to meet with Netanyahu during his visit to Washington, citing the Israeli elections on March 17.

The White House is also concerned the speech will give new momentum to a push by some lawmakers to move legislation threatening Iran with additional sanctions if a deal cannot be reached. Aides have said such a move could jeopardize the fragile talks.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said his committee would vote after March 24 on legislation that would require congressional approval for any nuclear deal with Iran. The White House has vowed to veto the legislation.

Obama also said that the U.S. isn’t working directly with Iran in the fight against the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and isn’t sitting on the sidelines in the battle.

“There’s a particular campaign in one city-- in which Iraqi forces are working alongside-- Iranian forces,” Obama said. “We’re not coordinating with them.”


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The U.S. is prepared to walk away from nuclear talks with Iran if the government in Tehran doesn't meet terms limiting its nuclear capabilities and submits to verification, President Barack Obama said. Iran has so far complied with an interim agreement negotiated with the...
obama, iran, nuclear, deal, walk, away
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2015-25-08
Sunday, 08 Mar 2015 11:25 AM
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