Iran and world powers gave themselves an extra week to reach a nuclear accord, extending a deadline due to expire on Tuesday, while President Obama said there would be no deal if all pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon were not cut off.
Obama warned Tuesday he will “walk away” from a bad nuclear deal with Iran, insisting there must be a “strong, rigorous verification mechanism” for monitoring Iran’s nuclear sites.
Obama said his instructions to negotiators in Vienna had been “extremely clear” — that a deal must block Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. He said there had been “a lot of talk” from Iranian negotiators questioning the terms of a framework agreement reached in Switzerland in April.
“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 press 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.”
Iran and six world powers are working towards an accord that would see Tehran halt sensitive nuclear work for at least a decade in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions, potentially the biggest breakthrough in decades of hostility between Washington and Tehran.