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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

If nuclear talks fail, sanctions against Iran won't hold, Kerry says

Iran Press TV

Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:54PM

Secretary of State John Kerry has defended US policy to continue nuclear negotiations with Iran, saying if Washington will walk away from the talks, the sanctions against the Islamic Republic will not hold.

Speaking on Wednesday morning to senior US diplomats in Washington, Kerry said, "Anybody standing up in opposition to this [Iran talks] has an obligation to stand up and put a viable realistic alternative on the table. And I have yet to see anybody do that."

He warned critics that a failure of the nuclear talks with Tehran would lead to the collapse of the current sanctions regime against the country.

'What happens if, as our critics propose, we just walk away from a plan that the rest of the world were to deem to be reasonable?' Kerry asked. "Well, the talks would collapse. Iran would have the ability to go right back spinning its centrifuges and enriching to the degree they want, if they want."

He added, "And the sanctions will not hold, because those other people who deem the plan to be reasonable will walk away and say, 'You do your thing, we'll do ours. You're not willing to be reasonable, we're going to do what we think is reasonable.' And then you have no sanctions regime at all."

Kerry also highlighted the challenges that his team faces in what many believe could be a historic deal with Iran to end years of dispute over its nuclear energy program.

On Wednesday afternoon, Kerry left Washington for Switzerland to hold negotiations with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The talks between the US and Iran are part of broader negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group -- Russia, China, Britain, France and the US plus Germany -- to reach a comprehensive agreement on Tehran's nuclear program as a deadline slated for July 1 draws closer.

On Friday, the latest round of nuclear negotiations ended in the Swiss lakeside city of Lausanne after six days of intensive talks with both parties citing progress.

The scale of Iran's uranium enrichment and the timetable for the lifting of anti-Iran sanctions are seen as major sticking points in the talks.

The illegal sanctions on Iran have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.


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