At a joint press conference Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that Iran must prove its nuclear program is peaceful.
Voice of America (VOA) reported that the two diplomats agreed “that Iran has a right to a peaceful nuclear program but ‘not a track to a bomb.'”
Kerry says a unified P5 + 1 grouping — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany — has presented Iran with “creative ideas” to help achieve its objectives.
“Now we will see if Iran is able to match the public words that they are prepared to prove to the world that they have a peaceful program, to match those words with the tough and courageous decisions that need to be made by all of us,” Kerry said. “The time is now to make those decisions.”
The VOA also quoted former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain, Adam Erelia, who is skeptical of a possible deal.
Former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain Adam Ereli says Iran has been engaging in what he calls a “shell game” of stalling and misleading the international community.
“What are they trying to hide or what are they trying to disguise? They’re trying to disguise a commitment to a nuclear program that they’ve not given up and that they’re not going to give up,” Ereli said.
The extent to which Iran is masking its nuclear program is critical as the only way to verify the regime’s adherence to any nuclear agreement is with full disclosure of its nuclear activities. However, a former Obama administration official explained to The New York Times last year why it would be difficult to ascertain the full scope of Iran’s nuclear program:
True rollback would mean dismantling many of those centrifuges, shipping much of the fuel out of the country or converting it into a state that could not be easily adapted to bomb use, and allowing inspections of many underground sites where the C.I.A., Europe and Israel believe hidden enrichment facilities may exist. There is no evidence of those facilities now, but, as a former senior Obama administration official said recently, speaking anonymously to discuss intelligence, “there has never been a time in the past 15 years or so when Iran didn’t have a hidden facility in construction.”
[Photo: AFP news agency / YouTube ]