The US aims to remove 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium from Iran, White House National Security Adviser and former US Marine Corps commander Gen. James Jones in a Wall Street Journal interview published on Friday.
"Our goal is to get 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium out of Iran," Jones was quoted as saying.
Throughout the interview, Jones touched mostly on the Iranian nuclear issue, which, as 2009 draws to a close, is becoming a high priority for US President Barack Obama who has marked a January 2010 deadline for Iran to respond to the West's demands that the country makes its nuclear program transparent.
"The goal very simply is to give Iran a chance, without sanctions or with sanctions," Jones said, but stressed that "the end of this calendar year â€¦ is rapidly approaching."
"Iran still controls its destiny on this issue," said Jones. The door to the diplomatic process would "stay open as long as we could leave it open â€¦ but it's not going to stay open much longer."
According to Jones, the parties involved in negotiations with Teheran wish most of all that Iran's leaders would "give a clear statement of policy with regard to their future ambitions concerning the development of nuclear weapons and the delivery means to go with them."
"As long as there's an open question on both of those issues, then Iran is just asking the world to trust them," he stated. "They think they can withstand anything the UN or the coalition of like-minded nations can put together. They might be right. They might be wrong."
"If Iran pivots and does the right thing, whether it's December 30 or January 20, that's what everybody wants," he concluded.