President Obama on Tuesday warned Iran that he is prepared to walk away from nuclear talks if Tehran does not submit to rigorous inspections of its nuclear sites.
“I will walk away from the negotiations if, in fact, it is a bad deal,” Obama said.
U.S. officials said the deadline would be extended to July 7 to seal a final agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The scope of inspections has been one of the main sticking points in the talks. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has bristled at Western demands to inspect Iranian military installations where nuclear activity is suspected.
Obama said, “There is still some hard negotiating to be done” but expressed hope a final deal could be reached.
The president said his criteria in judging a deal will be if it cuts off Iran’s path to build a nuclear weapon and whether that could be verified by international inspectors. He said the framework agreement reached in April, “if implemented effectively and codified properly, would in fact achieve my goal.”
“If we can’t verify that, if the inspections regime is inadequate, then we’re not going to get a deal,” he said.