Rice: No termination of Iran nuclear inspections

A nuclear deal with Iran must include access to its nuclear facilities even after the expiration of restrictions, which would last at least 10 years, National Security Adviser Susan Rice told AIPAC.

Addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on March 2, the second day of its annual conference, Rice said expectations that Iran would cease uranium enrichment altogether or that restrictions would be in place indefinitely were unrealistic. But she added that intrusive inspections would continue indefinitely.

“At the end of any deal, Iran would still be required to offer comprehensive access to its nuclear facilities and to provide the international community the assurance that it was not pursuing nuclear weapons,” she said.

Insisting on no enrichment would collapse the alliance built by the Obama administration to sanction and isolate Iran — factors that led Iran to agree to nuclear negotiations, Rice said.

“Let’s remember that sanctions have never stopped Iran from advancing its program,” she said.

Without a deal, Rice said, Iran would return to enrichment levels it achieved before the terms governing nuclear talks with the major powers imposed restrictions. “And we’ll lose the unprecedented inspections and transparency we have today,” she said.

The AIPAC activists received Rice warmly, ignoring calls from some right-wing figures to stay away from her talk after she said last week that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress was “destructive” to the U.S.-Israel relationship.

She earned cheers for saying emphatically that President Obama would consider “all options,” a euphemism for military action, should the talks fail. — jta


Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.