As negotiations with Iran enter the closing phase, President Barack Obama said he’s still prepared to walk away from the talks if the Islamic Republic can’t meet the terms set out by the U.S. and its partners.
The “deep-seated” distrust between the U.S. and Iran won’t dissipate quickly and the negotiators for the major powers in discussions with Iran will insist that any agreement to cut off Iran’s path to gaining a nuclear weapon must be verifiable, Obama said at a White House news conference with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
“I will walk away from the negotiations if in fact it’s a bad deal,” he said. “Given past behavior on the part of Iran, that simply can’t be a declaration by Iran and a few inspectors wandering around every once in a while.”
Obama also said the U.S. will keep up pressure on Iran over Americans being held in Iranian prisons to make sure they are afforded basic legal protections.
Diplomats representing the six nations negotiating with Iran plan to work through Tuesday’s deadline as the talks focus on the most significant sticking points.
Inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities, including military sites where past nuclear activities are suspected, have emerged as one of the last remaining logjams.
Diplomats from China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and U.S. are in Vienna for negotiations with Iranian officials.