‘US will stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at any cost’

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018

The US has warned that it would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at any cost, saying that it was looking at all options, including military action.

“Our red line is that we will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. The President has made clear --publicly and privately -- that we reject the policy of containment, because of the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran for Israel, for the region, for the non-proliferation regime, and for the world,” Deputy National Security Adviser, Ben Rhodes told reporters yesterday.

“He (Obama) has made clear that we will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and that means we’re looking at all options, including military options. So the President has been clear on both his red line and on his approach as it relates to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Rhodes said in response to a question.

“What’s also the case is we believe it’s preferable to solve the issue peacefully, both because diplomacy can yield a more lasting solution if you can get an assurance that a nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. Also because there certainly costs that would be involved with any military action,” he said.

The Obama Administration, Rhodes said, believes that there is “a window” to resolve this diplomatically.

“We have the world united in putting in place the toughest sanctions Iran has ever faced. We have a P5-plus-1 process where we’re currently in discussions with the Iranians about their nuclear programme,” Rhodes said.

“And so we want to use the time and space that we have available and the pressure that we’ve applied on the Iranian government to reach a peaceful, diplomatic solution,” he said.

Rhodes said that the Iranian government should know from the President’s public comments already that he’s serious about preventing them from getting a nuclear weapon, that he does not make those assurances without a commitment to follow through on them.

“He’s done what he says he will do in the past on national security issues, and he certainly would in this instance. We have a preference for a peaceful, diplomatic solution, but we have made it very clear that we will do what we must as a country to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Rhodes said.

Published on March 15, 2013

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