Obama: Iran must take concrete steps

Oct. 1, 2009 at 4:28 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Iran must take "concrete steps" to assure the global community its nuclear program is peaceful, not for nuclear arms, U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday.

"Iran must demonstrate through concrete steps that it will live up to its responsibilities with regard to its nuclear program," Obama said of negotiations on Iran's nuclear plans held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Delegations representing Iran, the U.N. Security Council's permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- and Germany reached agreement to meet again at the end of October. That would allow international nuclear inspectors time to gain access to Iran's recently revealed uranium enrichment facility near Qom.

"Iran must demonstrate its commitment to transparency," Obama said from Washington. "Since Iran has now agreed to cooperate fully and immediately with the International Atomic Energy Agency, it must grant unfettered access to IAEA inspectors within two weeks."

Iran also "must take concrete steps to build confidence that its nuclear program will serve peaceful purposes," Obama said.

Allowing IAEA inspectors access to the Qom plant "is a confidence-building step" that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful provided the country's low-enriched uranium is shipped to a third country for fuel fabrication."

The United States supports Iran's right to peaceful nuclear power, Obama said, but the America expects action going forward.

"We're committed to serious and meaningful engagement, but we're not interested in talking for the sake of talking," he said. "If Iran does not take steps in the near future to live up to its obligations, then the United States will not continue to negotiate indefinitely, and we are prepared to move towards increased pressure."

If Iran takes concrete steps and lives up to its obligations, it will have a better relationship with the United States and the international community.

"The burden of meeting these responsibilities lies with the Iranian government," Obama said, "and they are now the ones that need to make that choice."

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