'US to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon'

'US to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon'

National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. (Reuters Photo)

The best thing the US can do for the world is to continue its maximum pressure campaign on Iran's regime to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon, a top US official said on Sunday.

"The best thing we can do for the Iranian people and for the world is to continue our maximum pressure campaign to ensure that the Iranian regime never obtains a nuclear weapon, stops their terrorist activities in the region and cuts back on their ballistic missile program,” National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said.

The US has imposed new sanctions on Iran following missile strikes by it on bases housing US troops in Iraq.

Iran said the attacks were in revenge for the killing of the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, General Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone strike last week, which was ordered by President Donald Trump.

O'Brien said it has never been the policy of the US to change the regime in Iran, but the people of Iran are going to hopefully have the ability at some point to elect their own government.

"It's never been our policy to change the regime in Iran, but the people of Iran are going to hopefully have the ability at some point to elect their own government and to be governed by the leaders they choose. I mean we hope that around the world. But that's not our policy. And we're going to support human rights,” he said during an interview to a private American channel.

O'Brien said the US will work with its allies against Iran and soon the European powers would also join.

"We're going to keep doing that. We're going to work with our allies. I think we're going to see some additional assistance on that front coming out of Europe that has not been forthcoming in the past. But I think you're going to see the Europeans getting onboard in the coming weeks as well," he said.

Stating that the past one week has been very bad for the Iranian regime, O'Brien said: "They shot down Ukrainian International Airline 752. And the president's condolences and sympathy goes out to the passengers, their families, and their friends and loved ones".

"The Iranians then denied shooting the aircraft down, then give a different story about the aircraft coming close to sensitive military installations, changed it again and said it was because of the United States,” he said.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Saturday acknowledged that it accidentally shot down the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed earlier this week, killing all 176 aboard, after the government had repeatedly denied Western accusations that it was responsible.

"This was a regime that's reeling from maximum pressure. They're reeling from their incompetence in this situation. And the people of Iran are just fed up with it,” he added.

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