WASHINGTON – US National Security Adviser Susan Rice attempted to assuage the concerns of Israel and other US-allies in the Middle East over the possibility that Washington would fall for an Iranian ploy to buy time in its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Rice said that Obama had carefully chosen his words when he said that Iran had the right to use enriched uranium but not actively enrich uranium itself.
“It’s way too soon to presume either the prospect of an agreement on the nuclear program, which we hope to be able to achieve, but we’re quite sober about the potential for that,” Rice told CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS.
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“If we could have a peaceful resolution of the nuclear program and an end to Iran’s support for terrorism and other behavior that has concerned us over many years, then we could begin a serious discussion about the future.”
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Addressing the subject of a meeting of foreign ministers of the six world powers with the Iranian foreign minister last week, she said that the Iranians had pledged not to obtain a nuclear weapon, but nuclear energy. She added that the US stressed that Iran must live up to its commitment to the international community and that the sanctions would stay in place until they are met. “We and others in the international community have every reason to be skeptical of that and we need to test it, and any agreement must be fully verifiable and enforceable,” Rice said.
The national security adviser stressed that if Iran makes good on its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency and complies with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, it would have the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Rice also discussed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's warning regarding the Iranian "charm offensive" and said the White House was in close contact with Israel and other allies and that they were all in agreement regarding the measures that are necessary in order to make certain that at the end of the process, Iran does not have military nuclear power.
Rice further told CNN that the US and Iran were still far from normalizing relations. The two countries severed diplomatic relations following the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
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