Thursday from the White House Rose Garden, President Barack Obama made a statement on the framework of a potential deal for limiting the Iranian nuclear program reached by world leaders.
In arguing the deal will make the world safer, Obama said, “Today the United States, together with our allies and partners, has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As president and commander in chief, I have no greater responsibility than the security of the American people. And I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies and our world safer.”
He warned Congress of potential consequences of not accepting his deal.
“Even in the face of unprecedented sanctions, should negotiations collapse because we, the United States, rejected what the majority of the world considers a fair deal, what our scientists and nuclear experts suggest would give us confidence that they are not developing a nuclear weapon, it’s doubtful that we could even keep our current international sanctions in place,” Obama said. “So when you hear the inevitable critics of the deal sound off, ask them a simple question, do you really think that this verifiable deal, if fully implemented, backed by the world’s major powers is a worse option than the risk of another war in the Middle East? Is it worse than doing what we have done for almost two decades with Iran, moving forward with its nuclear program and without robust inspections? I think the answer will be clear.”
On Israel, Obama admitted the differences he has with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the deal.
“It’s no secret that the Israeli prime minister and I don’t agree about whether the United States should move forward with a peaceful resolution to the Iranian issue,” he continued. “If in fact Prime Minister Netanyahu is looking for the most effective way to ensure that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon, this is the best option. And I believe our nuclear experts can confirm that. More importantly, I will be speaking with the prime minister today to make clear, that there will be no daylight, there is no daylight when it comes to our support for Israel’s security and our concerns about Iran’s destabilizing policy and threats toward Israel.”
Obama wrapped up his announcement by comparing the deal to deals Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon had made with the Soviet Union during their presidencies.
“If Congress kills this deal, not based on expert analysis and without offering any reasonable alternative, then it’s the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy. International unity will collapse and the path to conflict will widen,” Obama added. “The American people understand this, which is why a solid majority support a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue. The words of President Kennedy said let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. The American people remember that at the height of the Cold War, presidents like Nixon and Reagan struck historic arms control measures with the Soviet Union, a far more dangerous adversary, despite the fact that that adversary not only threatened to destroy our way of life, but had the means to do so. Our agreements were not perfect. They did not end all threats, but they made our world safer. A good deal with Iran will do the same.”
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