POLITICS
03/08/2015 12:34 pm ET Updated Mar 08, 2015

Obama Says He'll Walk Away From Deal If Iran Can Make A Nuclear Bomb

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Sunday his administration would walk away from a deal with Iran if it would allow the regime to develop a nuclear bomb anytime soon.

"If there's no deal, then we walk away," Obama told CBS News' Bill Plante. "If we cannot verify that they are not going to obtain a nuclear weapon, that there's a breakout period so that even if they cheated we would be able to have enough time to take action, if we don't have that kind of deal, then we're not going to take it."

Secretary of State John Kerry has been negotiating a deal that would ease economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Iranian government limiting its nuclear ambitions, which it claims are for only peaceful purposes.

Obama said that "if we are able to verify that in fact they are not developing weapons systems, then there's a deal to be had, but that's going to require them to accept the kind of verification and constraints on their program that so far, at least, they have not been willing to say yes to."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sharply criticized the emerging deal in an address to Congress last week, said Sunday the current outlines of the agreement so far doesn't do enough to restrict Iran's bomb-making potential.

"I think the current proposal, as I understand it, enables Iran to have a vast nuclear infrastructure, which means a very short breakout time to the bomb," Netanyahu said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "And secondly, it lifts the restrictions after a decade, it just lifts all the restrictions on Iran and it could have an arsenal of many, many nuclear bombs."

Netanyahu said one reason the proposal is bad is that Iran has been able to fool nuclear weapons inspectors. Despite Iran's duplicity, he said, he could get a better deal.

"The better deal is to increase the breakout time, to limit Iran's infrastructure and secondly to condition the lifting -- link the lifting of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in the future to a change in Iran's behavior," he said. "To have it stop instigating aggression against its neighbors, worldwide terrorism that it's doing and to have them stop threatening the annihilation of Israel; I think that's a better deal."

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