Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement expressing strong support for the framework for a nuclear deal with Iran that was announced on Thursday.
In her statement, Clinton, who is widely seen as the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race, praised the agreement as a step that would improve security in the US and international community.
“The understanding that the major world powers have reached with Iran is an important step toward a comprehensive agreement that would prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and strengthen the security of the United States, Israel, and the region,” Clinton said.
This framework was negotiated by Iran and the so-called P5+1 powers, the US, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, China, and Germany. Negotiators originally set a March 31 deadline for a political framework agreement. Any final deal must be signed by June 30, which was the ultimate deadline established by the agreement that allowed for the talks.
“President [Barack Obama] and Secretary [of State John] Kerry have been persistent and determined in pursuit of this goal, building on a decade of bipartisan pressure and diplomacy. Getting the rest of the way to a final deal by June won’t be easy, but it is absolutely crucial. I know well that the devil is always in the details in this kind of negotiation,” Clinton said. “So I strongly support President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s efforts between now and June to reach a final deal that verifiably cuts off all of Iran;s paths to a nuclear weapon, imposes an intrusive inspection program with no sites off limits, extends breakout time, and spells out clear and overwhelming consequences for violations.”
Critics, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have suggested the deal will help Iran obtain a nuclear weapon, which would undermine US and Israeli security. In statements on Thursday, both Obama and Kerry defended the framework as the best option on the table for preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.
Clinton echoed these defences in her statement about the framework.
“The onus is on Iran and the bar must be set high. It can never be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapon. It is also vital that these efforts be part of a comprehensive strategy to check Iran¹s regional ambitions, defend our allies and partners, and reinforce American leadership in the Middle East,” Clinton said, adding, “There is much to do and much more to say in the months ahead, but for now diplomacy deserves a chance to succeed.”
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