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    Obama Urges Iran to Freeze Nuclear Program for Ten Years

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    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)
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    US President Barack Obama said that Iran should bring its nuclear program to a verifiable halt for at least ten years.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Iran should bring its nuclear program to a verifiable halt for at least ten years, US President Barack Obama said during an interview with Reuters.

    "If, in fact, Iran is willing to agree to double-digit years of keeping their program where it is right now and, in fact, rolling back elements of it that currently exist… if we've got that, and we've got a way of verifying that, there's no other steps we can take that would give us such assurance that they don't have a nuclear weapon," Obama said on Monday.

    Obama explained that the White House is leery about whether or not the Iranians will adhere to the arduous inspection regime that has been laid out and if Tehran will accept the low levels up to which they will be allowed to enrich uranium.

    If the Iranians agree to the deal, according to Obama, it will likely prove more successful in curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than Israel’s demand for military strikes.

    The President also said that tensions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been a distraction, but Netanyahu’s speech to US Congress on Tuesday opposing the Iran deal would not be "permanently destructive" to US-Israeli relations.

    Obama stressed that the United States and Israel had similar objectives in ensuring Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, however, he conceded that there are significant differences in how to achieve that goal.

    On Tuesday, Netanyahu is set to address a joint session of the US Congress after he was invited by US House Speaker John Boehner. However, the invitation has become mired in controversy, with the White House accusing Boehner of violating protocol.

    Meanwhile, the United States along with Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China and Germany — together known as the P5+1 group — are still in the midst of negotiations with Iran on its contested nuclear program.

    The UN Security Council and a number of countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iran for its alleged development of nuclear weapons, despite Iran repeatedly claiming that its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes only.

    The latest deadline for the P5+1 group and Iran to sign a comprehensive agreement ensuring that Tehran does not develop nuclear weapons has been set for July 2015.

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    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)

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