Obama Appeals for Long-Term Iran Deal

Obama Appeals for Long-Term Iran Deal
Obama Appeals for Long-Term Iran Deal

Iran could become a “very successful regional power” if Tehran agrees to a long-term deal on its nuclear program, US President Barack Obama said in an interview with NPR News.

“They’ve got a chance to get right with the world,” Obama said in the interview, which was taped at the White House on Dec. 18 and is set to air this week, Reuters reported.

More than a year ago, Iran agreed to an interim plan to temporarily halt higher-level uranium enrichment in exchange for a limited easing in financial sanctions pending negotiations on a long-term deal. Those talks have now been extended to next June.

Iran denies the allegation that it may be seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian program, saying its nuclear activities are meant only for peaceful purposes, such power generation.

Obama told NPR that Iran should seize the chance of a deal that could lift sanctions that have negatively affected its economy.

“Because if they do, there’s incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of Iran and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules - and that would be good for everybody,” he said.

Obama insisted a nuclear deal was possible, although Vice President Joe Biden earlier this month said he thought there was a “less than even shot” of an agreement.

Obama said he recognized that Iran has “legitimate defense concerns” after it “suffered from a terrible war with Iraq” in the 1980s. But he criticized Tehran for supporting resistance groups, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah, against the Israeli regime.