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US Official: Iran Must Prove It's Not Building Nuclear Weapon

Apr. 27, 2014 - 03:45AM   |  
By AWAD MUSTAFA   |   Comments
Iranian soldiers march April 18 during the annual Army Day military parade in Tehran. (Atta Kenare / Getty Images)
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ABU DHABI — The United States reiterated its commitment to Arabian Gulf security by stating that any agreement with Iran will be based on “verifiable actions that shows the US and the international community that Iran is not building a nuclear weapon.”

Frank Rose, US deputy assistant secretary of state for space and defense policy, said Sunday that the US is “acutely aware of the threats and anxieties in Abu Dhabi and throughout the Gulf.”

“The US has clearly stated that there’s only one measure of success when it comes to a comprehensive solution with Iran and that’s a solution in which Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon,” Rose said at the fourth edition of the Middle East Missile and Air Defense Symposium (MEMAD 2014).

“These (Iran) negotiations will not rely on trust,” said Rose. “Any final agreement must be based on verifiable actions that shows the US and the international community that Iran is not building a ?nuclear weapon.”

A?s negotiations continue, the commitment to secure partners in the Gulf remains to be a key factor, Rose said.

“We cannot and will not forget our commitment to the security of our Gulf allies; protecting them is a strategic imperative,” said Rose.

"The March 2012 launch of the US-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum has enhanced our partnership on policies that advance shared political, security, military, and economic objectives in the Gulf, including intensified efforts on ballistic missile defense cooperation.

"At his first Forum as Secretary of State, John Kerry made clear that the Foreign Ministers’ first priority would be enhanced US-GCC coordination on ballistic missile defense, including the eventual development of a Gulf-wide coordinated missile defense."

Rose said security commitments in the Gulf are more extensive today than ever before, stressing that developing a Gulf-wide coordinated missile defense capability is the priority in the area.

“The P5+1 talks with Iran do not alter our regional policy or commitment to protect regional security,” he said.

Not only is the US committed to missile defense in the Gulf region but it is developing its capabilities in the United States, Rose added.

“The president has requested $8.5 billion for missile defense including $7.5 billion for the missile defense agency for the 2015 fiscal year budget from Congress.”

“The budget funds new initiatives in response to the evolving ballistic missile developments and ensuring that our missile defense will keep up to date with a rapidly evolving security environment,” said Rose.

He said the US will strengthen its home-base missile defense capability by growing the number of ground-based interceptors from 30 to 44.

“We will also strengthen our regional strengths by procuring additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries, bringing the total number of batteries to seven providing a higher agility,” he said. ■

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