US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton says all options, including military options, are not off the table should Iran violate the terms of a nuclear deal with the world powers.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Democratic candidate said she would respond to any violations immediately if elected as president next year.
“The response to any cheating must be immediate and decisive – starting with the return of sanctions but taking no options off the table, including, if necessary, our military options,” Clinton said.
“The message to Iran should be loud and clear: We will never allow you to acquire a nuclear weapon; not just during the term of this agreement – never,” she added.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany — reached a conclusion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Tuesday.
The JCPOA will put limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
According to the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran will be recognized by the United Nations as a nuclear power and will continue its uranium enrichment program.
Clinton noted that the deal would “prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”
The former secretary of state also reassured Israeli officials over the conclusion of nuclear negotiations with Iran after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the agreement, calling it “a historic mistake for the entire world.”
“As president, I would invite the senior Israeli leadership to Washington for early talks on further strengthening our alliance,” she said.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a statement that Washington is committed to defending Israel and it would use the military option against Tehran if needed.
“We remain prepared and postured to bolster the security of our friends and allies in the region, including Israel,” Carter said. “We will utilize the military option if necessary.”
The White House announced on Tuesday that the Pentagon chief will travel to Israel next week to meet with Israeli officials.
Washington continues to threaten Iran with a military strike despite conclusion of the nuclear talks after 12 years of baseless accusations against the country.
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