White House tells Iran to 'live up to rhetoric'

2015-03-29 19:16
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Washington - The White House challenged Iranian negotiators on Sunday to "live up to their rhetoric" and strike a nuclear deal with world powers before a 31 March deadline expires.

Iran and six world powers have reached tentative agreement on key parts of a deal sharply curtailing Tehran's nuclear ambitions, Western diplomats said in Lausanne, where negotiators are racing to nail down an accord by midnight on Tuesday.

"We've been negotiating for more than a year and ultimately it's time for the Iranians to send a clear signal to the international community about whether or not they are willing to make the serious commitments required," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told ABC's This Week.

The Iranians must "basically live up to their rhetoric, that they are not trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. So if they can make those commitments, they should be able to do that by the end of March", he said.

Separately, House Speaker John Boehner promised to move "very quickly" to hit Iran with fresh sanctions if a nuclear deal collapses.

"Very quickly. Listen, the sanctions were working," Boehner said on CNN's State of the Union.

"They would have never come to the table and, frankly, we should have kept the sanctions in place so that we could have gotten to a real agreement. And the sanctions are going to come and they're going to come quick."

Boehner added that he had "serious doubts" about the ongoing talks in Switzerland.

"I've had serious doubts whether there could be an agreement and I still have serious doubts," he said.

Read more on:    us  |  iran  |  iran nuclear programme

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