US President Barack Obama has said the United States would be prepared to "walk away" from nuclear talks with Iran if a conclusive deal cannot be reached with Tehran. Negotiations are due to recommence next week.
Any deal made concerning the Iranian nuclear program would have to be verifiable, US President Barack Obama said in comments broadcast Saturday on "CBS News Sunday Morning."
"If we cannot verify that they are not going to obtain a nuclear weapon, that there's a breakout period so that even if they cheated we would be able to have enough time to take action - if we don't have that kind of deal, then we're not going to take it," he said.
The US president added that nothing was being lost through the talks, confirming that Iran has abided by the terms of an interim agreement.
"We know what is happening on the ground in Iran. They have not advanced their nuclear program," he said.
Obama warned, however, that the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program were gaining "greater urgency because we have been negotiating for over a year."
The broadcast came just a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Paris to meet with French, German and British foreign ministers over the ongoing negotiations with Tehran. Despite recognizing progress over the weekend, however, the Western allies still see differences to overcome.
"We need a solid agreement, not only for us, but also for the whole region, for the security of the region, including for the Iranians," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said following Saturday's talks.
Many in the West suspect that Iran's nuclear program is geared towards the production of nuclear weapons. Iran has consistently denied that accusation by saying that the program serves energy production and other civilian purposes.
International powers have already said they are ready to offer Iran sanctions relief in return for Iran limiting its nuclear programs.
Negotiators have given themselves a deadline of March 31 to reach an agreement on the framework of a nuclear deal. The next round of talks is set to begin March 15.
ksb/sms (AFP, AP)