WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations believes the U.S. needs to “test” the Tehran regime as western powers head back into nuclear talks with Iran next week.
“There’s so much mistrust, of course, that we bring to these negotiations after generations of suspicion and that cuts both ways,” Samantha Powers told CBS News. “With the temporary, modest, reversible, limited relief that we’re promising here, in return, we freeze the program, they dilute some of the highly enriched uranium, and we get a much more aggressive inspection verification regime.”
Reports surfaced last weekend that a deal was emerging in the talks between the U.S., Russia, France, China, Germany and Britain with Iran that sent Secretary of State John Kerry to Geneva. Kerry stated Monday that Iran could not sign off on the deal.
“To think that we could go from zero to 60 overnight and come to Congress with a comprehensive deal, that any of us would trust, having not probed it in this way, I think, is not realistic,” Power told CBS News.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been highly critical of the proposed deal, saying that Iran could “hit the jackpot” and that a bad nuclear deal could lead to war.
“The deal as was proposed and described to us by the American sources … means that Iran maintains its capability to enrich material for nuclear bombs. It also maintains another route, the plutonium heavy water route, to make nuclear bombs,” Netanyahu told CBS News on Sunday. “All Iran gives is a minor concession of taking 20 percent enriched uranium and bringing it down to a lower enrichment. Iran effectively becomes a threshold nuclear power nation.”
Despite Netanyahu’s statements, Power claims that Israel has been supportive.
“Israel has been a great partner with us throughout this process. Our goals are identical, which is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we’re going to continue to consult closely with them,” Power told CBS News. “When the talks resume, we’re hopeful that we can get an interim arrangement that does a lot more good and could give us more confidence at the end of six months.”
Power also said that if this was a good deal for Iran, the regime would’ve signed off on it.
Nuclear talks resume on Nov. 20.