'I will walk away from a bad deal': Obama on Iran discussions

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: Jul 01, 2015 03:08 IST

US President Barack Obama warned on Tuesday that he would "walk away" from a bad nuclear deal with Iran, emphasising that the goal of the agreement is to ensure that Tehran does not get a nuclear weapon and that the pact has a strong verifiable mechanism.

"There are deep-seated disagreements and divisions between the United States and Iran. And those aren't going to go away overnight. The goal of the nuclear negotiations is not to rely on trust but to set up a verifiable mechanism where we are cutting off the pathways for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon," Obama told White House reporters at a joint news conference with his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff.

Obama's remarks in response to a question came as the Secretary of State John Kerry, his Energy Secretary are "deeply engaged in negotiations" with Iran in Geneva.

"My hope is that they can achieve an agreement, but my instructions to them have been extremely clear," Obama said. "The framework agreement that was established at Lausanne is one that, if implemented effectively and codified properly, would, in fact, achieve my goal, which is Iran not obtaining a nuclear weapon," said the US President.

"There has been a lot of talk on the other side from the Iranian negotiators about whether, in fact, they can abide by some of the terms that came up in Lausanne. 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 said.

"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 and we've been very clear to the Iranian government about that," Obama said.

The US President said there are still some hard negotiations to take place.

"But ultimately this is going to be up to the Iranians to determine whether or not they meet the requirements that the international community has set forth to be able to fairly and accurately and consistently assess whether or not they have foreclosed the possibility of obtaining a nuclear weapon," he noted.

"Given past behavior on the part of Iran, that can't simply be a declaration by Iran and a few inspectors wandering around every once in a while. That's going to have to be a serious, rigorous verification mechanism. And that, I think, is going to be the test as to whether we get a deal or not,” Obama said.

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