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Obama committed to a 'comprehensive' nuke deal

By Agence France-Presse in Washington | China Daily | Updated: 2015-01-14 07:59

US President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States is committed to a "comprehensive" nuclear deal with Iran, and said that Palestinian membership in the International Criminal Court is not "constructive", officials said.

"The US is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program," the White House said in a statement.

"The president underscored the enduring commitment of the US to the security of Israel and the importance of continuing close cooperation with Israel on this issue," the statement said.

The leaders spoke by telephone ahead of a meeting to take place later this week between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart. Kerry hopes to accelerate the so-called P5+1 talks between Iran and Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany.

Under an interim deal, Iran's stock of fissile material has been diluted from 20 percent enriched uranium to five percent in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

However, two deadlines for a final deal have been missed, and a third on July 1 is looming.

Obama also "underscored that the US does not believe Palestinian accession to the ICC is a constructive way forward," the statement said.

The Palestinians formally joined the ICC last week, drawing fresh opposition from Washington, a close ally of the Jewish state.

"President Obama reiterated the position that the Palestinian Authority does not yet constitute a state and is therefore not eligible to accede to the Rome Statute" that governs the ICC, the White House said.

ICC membership allows the Palestinians to lodge war crimes complaints against Israel beginning in April.


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