VIENNA —The deadline for an agreement in the Iran nuclear talks was officially pushed back by a week on Tuesday as negotiators extended a temporary accord that limits Iran’s nuclear program.
Without the last-minute extension, the interim agreement known as the joint plan of action would have expired at midnight. By announcing a new timeline with just a few hours to spare, the negotiators made official what they have acknowledged privately for days — they could not make the June 30 deadline.
In Washington, President Obama said on Tuesday that any agreement with Iran must be verifiable, and he warned that the United States would “walk away” from one that does not demonstrably block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. He also cautioned that “deep-seated” distrust between Washington and Tehran will not vanish quickly.
In a White House news conference with Dilma Rousseff, the visiting Brazilian president, Obama said: “I will walk away from the negotiations if in fact it’s a bad deal. . . . Given past behavior on the part of Iran, that simply can’t be a declaration by Iran and a few inspectors wandering around every once in a while.”
Obama also said the United States would maintain pressure on Iran over Americans being held in Iranian prisons to ensure they receive basic legal protections. The fate of detained Americans, including Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, has come up on the sidelines of the nuclear talks but has not been part of the accord under negotiation.