Washington: Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton, in a tough statement on the Iran nuclear deal, vowed Tuesday that Tehran will never be able to acquire atomic weapons if she is elected to the White House.
Clinton made her statement as critics in the US Congress, as well as skeptical US allies around the globe, criticized the agreement as providing Iran with a glide path -- albeit a somewhat delayed one -- toward an eventual nuclear weapon.
"As president, I would use every tool in our arsenal to compel rigorous Iranian compliance," Clinton said.
"The message to Iran should be loud and clear: We will never allow you to acquire a nuclear weapon; not just during the term of this agreement -- never."
A former US secretary of state, Clinton said she is "still studying the details" of the plan, but gave it her qualified backing.
"Based on the briefings I received and a review of the documents, I support the agreement because it can help us prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon," the former first lady said.
"With vigorous enforcement, unyielding verification, and swift consequences for any violations, this agreement can make the United States, Israel and our Arab partners safer."
The deal, hammered out between six world powers and Iran, was finalized in Vienna after marathon talks.
Clinton said, however, that inking the accord is just a first step, and that "effective enforcement" of the deal will be of paramount importance.
"In light of the international community`s long history and experience with Iranian behavior, the highest priority must be given to effective enforcement of the agreement," she said.
"Signing is just the beginning. As president, I would use every tool in our arsenal to compel rigorous Iranian compliance."