US Treasury Secretary Lew: Iran's nuclear program will remain peaceful

On first official visit to Israel, Lew vows US will not "rush into a bad deal" with Iran, says sanctions remain in place.

US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew (photo credit: REUTERS)
US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew
(photo credit: REUTERS)
While the United States will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew said Wednesday that sanctions could lead to an agreement that will “ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful,” a step short of Israel’s demand for its complete dismantling.
“We have always been clear that we will take the time to do this right, and we will not rush into a bad deal. No deal is better than a bad deal,” he said on his first official visit to Israel.
The limited sanctions relief the US offered Iran to promote nuclear negotiations has not affected the overall tough sanctions regime against the Islamic Republic, Lew said.
“It is now clear that ongoing sanctions against Iran remain in place, and that the temporary, targeted and reversible sanctions relief provided by the [P5+1] Joint Plan of Action has been extremely limited,” he said.
Iran has continued to lose significant oil revenue from remaining sanctions, he added, and its economy remains distressed as the US enters its last month of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Iran sanctions are the toughest the world community has imposed on any country and its economy is suffering a serious blow as a result – an impact that is not being reversed,” Lew said.