President Obama in his opening weekly address to the nation said, “This week, together with our allies and partners, we reached an historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon and make our country, our allies, and our world safer.”
The President asserted that the framework is the result of tough, principled diplomacy.
“It’s a good deal — a deal that meets our core objectives, including strict limitations on Iran’s program and cutting off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.”
He further argued that the deal denies Iran the plutonium necessary to build a bomb. Moreover, he said it will shut down the path of a bomb by Iran through the enrichment of uranium.
He explained that Iran has agreed that it will not stockpile the materials needed to build a weapon and underscore the point that international inspectors will have unimpeded access to Iran’s nuclear program.
He noted that Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world and if the country cheats, the world will know it.
“This deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification,” said the President.
President Obama also noted that the deal is a long-term one, with strict limitation on Iran’s program for over a decade and unprecedented transparency measures that will last for 20 years or more.
He highlighted the fact as a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran will never be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon.
“In return for Iran’s actions, the international community, including the United States, has agreed to provide Iran with phased relief from certain sanctions. If Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place. Meanwhile, other American sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, its ballistic missile program, all will continue to be enforced,” declared the President.
He noted that many of the key details will be finalized over the next three months, and said nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed and any backsliding on the part of Iran will mean no deal.
“Here in the United States, I expect a robust debate. We’ll keep Congress and the American people fully briefed on the substance of the deal. As we engage in this debate, let’s remember—we really only have three options for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program: bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities—which will only set its program back a few years—while starting another war in the Middle East; abandoning negotiations and hoping for the best with sanctions—even though that’s always led to Iran making more progress in its nuclear program; or a robust and verifiable deal like this one that peacefully prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” said the President.
He said that he firmly believes that the diplomatic option—a comprehensive, long-term deal like this—is by far the best option. For the United States. For our allies. And for the world.
“Our work — this deal — is not yet done. Diplomacy is painstaking work. Success is not guaranteed. But today we have an historic opportunity to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in Iran, and to do so peacefully, with the international community firmly behind us. And this will be our work in the days and months ahead in keeping with the best traditions of American leadership,” he concluded.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
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