Sunday 12 January 2014

Obama warns Iran of non-compliance, welcomes agreement

(KUNA) -- Iran is expected to begin destroying its uranium enrichment capabilities on January 20, as outlined in a deal officially accepted Sunday in Tehran and hammered out by the P5+1, but President Barack Obama warned the US will ratchet up its sanctions should Iran fail to comply.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama said the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany, as well as the European Union "will begin to implement modest relief so long as Iran fulfills its obligations and as we pursue a comprehensive solution to Iran's nuclear program." However he also noted that the US "will continue to vigorously enforce the broader sanctions regime, and if Iran fails to meet its commitments we will move to increase our sanctions." At home, Obama continues to face some members of Congress who insist that further sanctions on Iran will yield greater results for the international community, but the president stressed that he will put a stop to any such decision.

"Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation," said Obama, while also thanking those who supported his administration.

"Unprecedented sanctions and tough diplomacy helped to bring Iran to the negotiating table, and I'm grateful to our partners in Congress who share our goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon." Obama welcomed Tehran's agreement on Sunday, calling it "concrete progress.

"We will now focus on the critical work of pursuing a comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran's nuclear program," he said. "I have no illusions about how hard it will be to achieve this objective, but for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed."

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