May 17th, 2010
03:44 PM ET
12 years ago

White House: Iran nuclear offer doesn't stop U.S. sanction push

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Tehran has announced it will send thousands of pounds of low-enriched uranium it produced to Turkey in exchange for more highly enriched fuel to power its reactor that makes isotopes for medical use."]Washington (CNN) - A nuclear agreement announced by Iran and Turkey will not halt the U.S. push for stronger sanctions against Iran, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

"It does not change the steps that we are taking to hold Iran responsible for its obligations, including sanctions," Gibbs said at the daily White House news briefing.

Under the agreement announced after talks Sunday involving the leaders of Iran, Turkey and Brazil, Tehran said it would send thousands of pounds of low-enriched uranium it produced to Turkey in exchange for more highly enriched fuel to power its reactor that makes isotopes for medical use.

However, Iran later said it intended to continue enriching uranium to the level that can sustain nuclear reactions, a move opposed by the United States and its allies.

Gibbs said Iran's stated intention to continue producing enriched uranium would make the Iranians "noncompliant with their obligations and responsibilities" under international agreements.

"The words and the deeds of the leadership in Iran have rarely coincided," Gibbs said. "So I think, obviously, while shipping out the low-enriched uranium would represent some progress, we still have concerns about the overall thrust of the nuclear program."

Iran says it needs to enrich uranium from its current 3.5 percent to 20 percent because a research reactor that produces isotopes for cancer patients is running out of fuel. However, uranium enriched to 20 percent is the threshold for setting off a nuclear reaction.

The United States and other Western nations have accused Tehran of trying to develop a nuclear weapons program, but Iran's government insists the material is for civilian use.

Filed under: Iran • Obama administration • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    Has Barry said "he's sorry to you " ackmydinnerjacket?

    May 17, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. IKHAN

    I have doubts if further sanctions would work.
    Negotiations & diplomacy is the way to go. Iran is a signatory to NPT & we should sit down with them to resolve this issue.
    It is all the more necessary to achieve our goals in Iraq & Afghanistan for a dignified exit.
    Unless we engage the neighboring countries of Iraq & Afghanistan in meaningful partnerships we cannot go it alone based solely on military strategy.

    May 17, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Iran will never comply, bomb or take orders from the U.S., we're their cash cow.

    May 17, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Gary

    This is an oppressive regime that will not be overthrown and will not be swayed from its desire to get the nuclear bomb. Given their missile and submarine technology advancements Iran under this radical leadership represents a threat to the US, Europe and our Allies in the Middle East. The only thing that will stop them from getting the bomb is if President Obama can put together a coalition of the 20 largest countries with the largest militaries to bomb their nuclear research center, nuclear refinery centers and missile development centers. They need the type of targeted bombing campaign that would take about 30 days and cut their military strength in half as well as set their nuclear program back 10 years. This type of campaign would weaken them to the point that the moderate majority of Iran could take back control of their government and could develop their nation into a free country and a good world citizen. I hope that President Obama has the will to do this.

    May 17, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    WOW. Ahmadinejad and Gov. Palin would make a great couple. Both of them are IDIOTS.

    May 17, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. SocialismBad

    Sanctions... what a joke. It looks like it is going to take a nuclear bomb going off in the Middle East to get Odummie to realize he can't talk his way out of this mess.

    May 17, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Dave

    Is Obama and the UN going to sen him another nasty-gram and tell him he is being bad?

    We need Bolton to team up with Netanyahu and just blow their known nuclear sites of the map........... but liberals everywhere will whine and moan and say we are warmongers and that we can't do that and talk about MyMood ImInAJihad's "rights".........
    as his country oppresses woman and hangs gays

    Wake up morons

    May 17, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Rickster

    Barry and his band of amateurs have no idea what to do about this. Barry keeps chirping and Iran keeps flipping him the bird because they know what a weak sister he is.

    May 17, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Henry Miller PHD is an idiot

    yes rickster, we should go back and do what the bush admin did. that worked so well. duh? next time you have a thought, keep it there spiffy.

    May 17, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. john

    Dave said:
    "We need Bolton to team up with Netanyahu and just blow their known nuclear sites of the map........... "

    I'll emphasize the "known". What do you do about those you do not know of?
    We bomb 99% of their sites (assuming the bombs go deep enough o matter) but we miss 1%. They still have the capability to make a nuclear bomb and now they have an excuse to do so. We loose all the international support we have worked so hard to gain and no one in the world will blame their crazy president for being paranoid.

    Also do you sincerely think our country can sustain 3 wars without a draft AND increasing taxes (yeah that bad word)? Of course it's always easy from a couch or computer to advocate another war without looking at the implications.
    I guess I would be in your liberal label but I am definitely not against war, but am against war for the sake of it. I have done my duty for this country in Afghanistan and in Irak so I know first hand what it is to go to war.

    May 17, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. danny


    How do u explain Israel blowing up Iran nuclear sites?? Some of u have no idea about IR so keep your traps shut...

    U want a nuclear free world...then israel better get on the same train as iran otherwise it won't happen

    May 17, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. J.

    Do you know anything about nuclear weapons. If they do make one it is going to be small becuase the bombs only are fission and limited to an explosive yield of >200 KT

    May 17, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |