White House: Iran work for nuclear deal likely finished in coming weeks

Deputy U.S. National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes participates in the Washington Ideas Forum in Washington, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

HONOLULU (Reuters) - The White House expects that Iran will finish the work it needs to trigger implementation of a landmark nuclear deal with world powers in the coming weeks, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said on Saturday.

Rhodes said Iran still had a number of important things to do after having shipped its stockpile of low enriched uranium out of the country.

“I would expect the Iranians to complete the work necessary to move forward with implementation in the coming weeks,” Rhodes told reporters in Hawaii, where President Barack Obama is on vacation.

“We are on track to see the implementation of the Iran deal move forward.”

Meanwhile Rhodes said the administration needed more time to prepare sanctions related to Iran’s ballistic missile program. He said the delay was not a result of pressure from Tehran.

President Hassan Rouhani ordered his defense minister on Thursday to expand Iran’s missile program, in defiance of the U.S. threat to impose sanctions over a ballistic missile test Iran carried out in October.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Diane Craft and Matthew Lewis