Bernie Sanders backs Iran nuclear deal

US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders will back the US nuclear accord with Iran but is prepared to re-impose economic sanctions if Iran violates the treaty, he said in a statement.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The 73-year-old Sanders has emerged as the only candidate to pose a serious challenge to longtime Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“This agreement is obviously not all that many of us would have liked but it beats the alternative – a war with Iran that could go on for years.”

Sanders came out in support of the agreement with Iran negotiated between the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France with Germany after discussing the issue with US President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation, the statement said.

“If Iran does not live up to the agreement, sanctions may be reapplied,” Sanders said.

“If Iran moves toward a nuclear weapon, all available options remain on the table.”

Sanders said Obama had addressed some of his concerns about the agreement.

“I think it is incumbent upon us… to give the negotiated agreement a chance to succeed,” he said. “That is why I will support the agreement.”

However, Sanders urged the US government to remain alert in monitoring Iran’s compliance with the agreement.

“The United States must do everything it can to make certain that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, that Israel is not threatened by a nuclear Iran and that a nuclear arms race in the region is avoided.”

By Sputnik