Rouhani: We'll Resume Nuclear Work

Iran's President threatens that his country would resume its halted nuclear work if world powers go back on a proposed final deal.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday warned major powers that his country would resume its halted nuclear work if they went back on a proposed final deal.

"If we reach a deal, both sides should be committed to it," Rouhani said in Tehran, according to the Reuters news agency.

"If the other side breaches the deal, we will go back to the old path, stronger than what they can imagine," he stressed.

Rouhani’s comments came shortly after a warning to Iran was issued from President Barack Obama, who said earlier that he is still willing to walk away from a potential nuclear accord with Iran if Tehran doesn't agree to a verifiable inspections process that satisfies the six world powers involved in the negotiations.

"There's still some hard negotiations left to take place," he said. "Ultimately, it's going to be up to the Iranians to determine whether they meet that requirement – to be able to fairly and accurately and consistently assess whether they have foreclosed the possibility of attaining a nuclear weapon."

"There has been a lot of talk on the other side by the Iranian negotiators about whether in fact they can abide by some of the terms that came up in Lausanne," Obama said, referring to the framework deal reached on April 2. That agreement, he said, "if implemented and codified properly, would achieve my goal, which is Iran not attaining a nuclear weapon."

"My hope is they can achieve an agreement," Obama said. "If they cannot, that's going to be a problem. Because I've said from the start, I will walk away from the negotiation if, in fact, it's a bad deal."

Earlier on Tuesday, Iran and the six world powers agreed to extend the deadline to reach a final deal to July 7, after failing to reach agreements on key issues.

The major sticking points preventing the sides from meeting the deadline appear to be Iran's insistence that it will not allow inspectors in to examine covert nuclear facilities, and its demand to have sanctions lifted immediately upon a deal being signed.

Other issues include having Iran come clean on the potential military aspects of its nuclear program in recent years, and the intention stated by senior Iranian officials that the state will use advanced centrifuges after a deal is signed, a move which would allow it to obtain a nuclear arsenal within weeks.