Iran has fulfilled its commitments: US official
Updated: 2015-06-09 10:43
WASHINGTON - A senior US government official said Monday that Iran has met all of its obligations under an interim nuclear agreement with the P5+1 negotiating countries.
"Iran has halted process on some aspects of its nuclear program and has rolled it back in a certain way," Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said at the American Jewish Committee's annual Global Forum.
Blinken said that Israel is safer now from a nuclear Iran than it was 18 months ago, thanks to the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action by which Iran received partial sanctions relief.
The US official has said recently that the P5+1 countries -- the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany -- are making efforts to reach a final deal to curb Tehran's nuclear program by a June 30 deadline.
The deadline was agreed upon by negotiators in November 2014 after their failed attempt to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal due to a huge divide in opinions about how to limit Iran's uranium enrichment capacity and how to lift sanctions that are crippling the Iranian economy.
However, Blinken warned that the deadline could be missed. "The June 30 deadline is fast approaching, and we do not yet have a comprehensive agreement, and there remains a chance that we won't get one," he said.
Blinken said that a comprehensive nuclear agreement represents the best option now and it was a "fantasy" to believe that intensifying sanctions will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Some US lawmakers and Israel are among the fiercest critics of the talks with Iran, arguing a negotiated deal would not prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring nuclear bombs.
"There is simply no better option for preventing Iran from obtaining that material for a nuclear bomb" than the current negotiation mechanism adopted by the P5+1 countries, Blinken said.