U.S. President Barack Obama says he’ll “walk away” from a bad nuclear deal with Iran.
The U.S. -led delegation of six world powers have extended their deadline for negotiations with Tehran until July 7 to reach a deal on halting Iran’s nuclear development program.
In return, the United Nations would lift the crippling economic sanctions that have been imposed against the Islamic Republic for years.
Obama said there must be a “strong, rigorous verification mechanism” in place for monitoring Iran’s nuclear sites before he is willing to agree to a deal. He warned that his instructions to negotiators in Vienna – including Secretary of State John Kerry – have been “extremely clear.”
Any terms of the deal, he said, must block Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon – at least for the next decade.
“If they cannot, that’s going to be a problem because I’ve said from the start I will walk away from the negotiations if, in fact, it’s a bad deal” he told a joint news conference with visiting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
“If we can’t provide assurances that the pathways for Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon are closed, and if we can’t verify that – if the inspections regime, verifications regime, is inadequate, then we’re not going to get a deal,” Obama said.
“Ultimately, this is going to be up to the Iranians.”
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Monday that the current deal being negotiated between the world powers and Iran has gone “from bad to worse.”
In effect, he said, the deal will pave Iran’s way to being “not only a major power with one or two nuclear bombs, but with an unlimited arsenal within a decade with the possibility of achieving several atomic bombs beforehand, by violating the monitoring which, in any case, is full of holes.”
The current deal also gives Iran many billions of dollars, he said, “apparently hundreds of billions of dollars, within a short time.” Such an enormous amount of funding will allow Iran to finance its increasing aggression, Netanyahu pointed out.
The first goal, he said, would be to fund “the murderous stranglehold it is using around the State of Israel,” but he also noted there are “other parts of the Middle East that are subject to its aggression, such as Yemen, Iraq and many other places.