In his weekly address, President Obama describes the historic understanding the United States — with its allies and partners — reached with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and will make the world safer. The deal, announced on April 2, meets the core objectives of cutting off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. It is both comprehensive and long-term, and includes robust and intrusive inspections of the country’s nuclear program. The president reiterates that the deal is not yet done — and if there is backsliding from Iran in the months to come, there will be no deal. He echoes his belief that a diplomatic resolution is by far the best option and promises to continue to fully brief Congress and the American people on the substance and progress of the negotiations in the months to come.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Remarks of President Barack Obama
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.
This 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.
This deal denies Iran the plutonium necessary to build a bomb. It shuts down Iran’s path to a bomb using enriched uranium. Iran has agreed that it will not stockpile the materials needed to build a weapon. Moreover, international inspectors will have unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear program because Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world. If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.
And this is a long-term deal, with strict limits on Iran’s program for more than a decade and unprecedented transparency measures that will last for 20 years or more. And 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.
As I said this week, many key details will need to be finalized over the next three months, and nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed. And if there is backsliding, there will be 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.
As President and Commander in Chief, I firmly believe 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.