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US has offered Iran ‘framework’ for nuclear deal: Obama

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Washington: President Barack Obama today said the US has proposed a “framework” that can help Iran meet its nuclear energy needs and the prospects of a comprehensive deal with the country over its nuclear programme should become clear in the next 3-4 weeks.

“Whether we can actually get a deal done, we’re going to have to find out over the next three to four weeks. We have presented to them a framework that would allow them to meet their peaceful energy needs,” Obama told reporters at a White House news conference.

Referring to the frequent statements from the Iranian leadership that they don’t want to develop a nuclear a weapon, Obama said: “If that is, in fact, true, then they’ve got an avenue here to provide that assurance to the world community, and in a progressive, step-by-step, verifiable way, allow them to get out from under sanctions so that they can reenter as full-fledged members of the international community.”

The West has accused Iran of attempting to develop a nuclear weapon under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, while Tehran argues that its nuclear development is aimed purely at meeting the country’s growing energy needs and achieving other peaceful goals.

Obama said the unprecedented sanctions imposed by US-led international community has crippled Iran’s economy.

“We have been able to freeze their programme, in some cases reduce the stockpile of nuclear material that they already had in hand. The discussions, the negotiations have been constructive,” he said.

“I’ve said consistently that I’d rather have no deal than a bad deal — because what we don’t want to do is lift sanctions and provide Iran legitimacy but not have the verifiable mechanisms to make sure that they don’t break out and produce a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.


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