President Obama celebrated his monumental agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, adamantly defending the lengthy process that blew by several deadlines before finally concluding on Monday.
“America negotiated from a position of strength and principle,” Obama said in an early morning statement hailing it as a path to stop the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
Obama defended the deal as “not built on trust” but “verification,” insisting that nuclear inspectors would have the necessary access to Iranian nuclear sites.
He warned Congress against opposing the deal, vowing to veto any legislation blocking it. He insisted that walking away from it would allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon.
“No deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,” he declared, insisting that rejection of the deal would “threaten a nuclear arms race in one of the most volatile regions in the world.”
The agreement is reportedly about 100 pages long.
“We do not have to accept an inevitable spiral into conflict. We certainly shouldn’t seek it and, precisely because the stakes are so high, this is not the time for politics or posturing,” Obama insisted. “Tough talk from Washington does not solve problems; hard-nosed diplomacy, leadership that has united the world’s major powers offers a more effective way to verify that Iran is not pursing a nuclear weapon.”
After the deal was announced, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as “a bad mistake of historic proportions,” which would allow Iran “to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region.”
The deal was reached after 18 days of talks in Vienna between diplomats of Iran and the United States, Russia, China, Britain, Germany, and France.
The price of oil tumbled after the deal was announced, according to Bloomberg News, as sanctions are expected to be lifted, opening the world again to Iran’s glut of oil production.
According to Iran state media, none of the Iranian nuclear facilities will be dismantled or decommissioned and nuclear research and development activities will continue. The arms embargo, they report, will “be annulled and replaced with certain restrictions” that only last five years.