While describing as a “positive step” Iran’s acceptance of proposals to transfer low-enriched uranium off its soil, the United States however warned that it still had “serious concerns” about Iran’s stated intention to continue its 20 percent enrichment, a step that the U.S. would consider a “direct violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions”.
Acknowledging the negotiation efforts by Turkey and Brazil towards advancing the fuel swap deal, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “The proposal announced in Tehran must now be conveyed clearly and authoritatively to the International Atomic Energy Agency before it can be considered by the international community.”
Stressing Iran’s repeated failure to live up to its own commitments, and the need to address fundamental issues related to Iran’s nuclear program, Mr. Gibbs further voiced concern that “The Joint Declaration issued in Tehran is vague about Iran’s willingness to meet with the P5+1 countries to address international concerns about its nuclear program, as it also agreed to do last October.”
Explaining what this would mean for the U.S.’s Iran policy, Mr. Gibbs added that the U.S. would continue to work with its international partners, including the U.N., to “make it clear to the Iranian government that it must demonstrate through deeds – and not simply words – its willingness to live up to international obligations.” Iran would otherwise have to “face consequences, including sanctions,” Mr. Gibbs warned.
In particular, Iran must take the steps necessary to assure the international community that its nuclear program was intended exclusively for peaceful purposes, and to this end the White House statement noted that the U.S. remained committed to a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear program, as part of the P5+1 dual track approach.