Obama Adviser: If Iran Violates Future Deal, Sanctions Could Be Renewed

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Dec. 23, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

A fu­ture Ir­an nuc­le­ar ac­cord could auto­mat­ic­ally re­in­state in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions if Tehran vi­ol­ates its pro­vi­sions, says a seni­or White House of­fi­cial.

“We will not con­struct a deal or ac­cept a deal in which we can­not veri­fy ex­actly what [the Ir­a­ni­ans] are do­ing,” Re­u­ters quoted U.S. na­tion­al se­cur­ity ad­viser Susan Rice as say­ing on the CBS news pro­gram “60 Minutes.”

Wash­ing­ton and its al­lies hope a six-month nuc­le­ar agree­ment reached last month will lay the ground­work to ne­go­ti­ate more en­dur­ing re­stric­tions on Ir­an’s arms-rel­ev­ant nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies. Fears of Ir­a­ni­an back­ped­al­ing, though, have con­trib­uted to a con­gres­sion­al push for new sanc­tions that the White House sees as a threat to dip­lomacy.

Rice said that if in­ter­na­tion­al au­thor­it­ies catch the Ir­a­ni­ans vi­ol­at­ing a fu­ture deal, “we will en­sure that the pres­sure is re­im­posed on them.”

Wash­ing­ton and its part­ners still have not de­veloped lan­guage that would auto­mat­ic­ally re­new sanc­tions un­der such con­di­tions, “but this is something that’s quite doable,” she said in an in­ter­view aired on Sunday.

Rice said it re­mains un­cer­tain if ex­ist­ing eco­nom­ic pres­sure is suf­fi­cient for Ir­an to ac­cept a “veri­fi­able” means of en­sur­ing that it could nev­er build a nuc­le­ar weapon so quickly that it couldn’t be stopped.

Her re­marks echoed com­ments made by Pres­id­ent Obama dur­ing a Fri­day press brief­ing.

“There is no need for new sanc­tions le­gis­la­tion — not yet,” Agence France-Presse quoted Obama as say­ing. “If Ir­an comes back and says, we can’t give you as­sur­ances that we’re not go­ing to weapon­ize “¦ it’s not go­ing to be hard for us to turn the di­als back [and] strengthen sanc­tions even fur­ther.”

On Sunday, Ir­an and the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many paused their talks for the Christ­mas hol­i­day, with a European Uni­on spokes­per­son say­ing dis­cus­sions would likely re­sume be­fore the New Year, ac­cord­ing to a sep­ar­ate Re­u­ters re­port. The in­ter­na­tion­al en­voys are en­ga­ging on how to im­ple­ment last month’s deal. The in­ter­im ac­cord grants Ir­an lim­ited re­lief from pun­it­ive eco­nom­ic meas­ures, but Tehran wants the “P-5+1” na­tions to of­fer ad­di­tion­al sanc­tions curbs un­der a fu­ture agree­ment.

The Per­sian Gulf power in­sists that its atom­ic activ­it­ies are peace­ful, but that as­ser­tion faces strong in­ter­na­tion­al skep­ti­cism.

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