Obama's Attack on Iran Deal Critics Compares GOP Caucus to 'Death to America' Chanters
Noting that he picked American University because JFK spoke there during the Cold War, President Obama hailed his nuclear agreement with Iran as a landmark moment in nonproliferation while launching blistering attacks against any critics of the deal.
Kennedy, he said, "rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign-policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing."
"Instead, he promised strong, principled American leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace, a peace based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements... The agreement now reached between the international community and the Islamic Republic of Iran builds on this tradition of strong, principled policy diplomacy."
Obama called the P5+1 deal "the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program."
He panned the debate back during the Iraq war: "Those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive while dismissing those who disagreed as weak, even appeasers of a malevolent adversary."
He claimed that for Iran to violate the deal it would need to have "a secret source for every single aspect of its program."
"This deal is not just the best choice among alternatives, this is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated, and because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support," Obama continued.
"I've had to make a lot of tough calls as president, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls, it's not even close. Unfortunately, we're living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prison, evaluated by headline-grabbing soundbites, and so before the ink was even dry on this deal, before Congress even read it, a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition. Lobbyists and pundits were suddenly transformed into armchair nuclear scientists disputing the assessments of experts like Secretary Moniz, challenging his findings, offering multiple and sometimes contradictory arguments about why Congress should reject this deal."
Obama said inspectors would get regular access to Iran's "key" nuclear sites and brushed off objections to the potential 24-day delay to probe a site because "nuclear material isn't something you hide in the closet."
He added that "an argument against sanctions relief is effectively an argument against any diplomatic resolution of this issue."
"But the notion that this will be a game-changer with all this money funneled into Iran's pernicious activities misses the reality of Iran's current situation," he said, claiming that since "Iran's leaders have raised expectations of their people, that sanctions relief will improve their lives" they'll have to use the money domestically. "...Let's stipulate that some of that money will flow to activities that we object to."
"There is no scenario where sanctions relief turns Iran into the region's dominant power," Obama said. "...So, contrary to the alarmists who claim Iran is on the brink of taking over the Middle East, or even the world, Iran will remain a regional power with its own set of challenges."
The president said those arguing that the deal needs to be tossed back for a better one "are either ignorant of Iranian society, or they are not being straight with the American people."