President Obama declared today that “because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle” in reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, “we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region.”
The deal, which lasts up to 10 years and is nearly 100 pages long, gives Tehran the right to challenge UN inspections of its nuclear program. An arbitration board, including an Iranian representative, would decide if access is granted.
Iran said sanctions will be repealed, while the P5+1 powers said old sanctions will be repealed but they’ll impose new ones.
The arms embargo that Iran wanted lifted will sunset after five years and could be lifted earlier if the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies they’re not developing nuclear weapons.
“This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change, change that makes our country and the world safer and more secure,” Obama declared in a statement that was also broadcast in Iran.
He said Iran is subject to a stockpile limitation for 15 years and will not build any new heavy water reactors in that time.
Despite the appeals board for proposed inspections, Obama vowed “inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities… because of this deal, inspectors will also be able to access any suspicious location.”
“As Iran takes steps to implement this deal, it will receive relief from the sanctions that we put in place because of Iran’s nuclear program, both America’s own sanctions and sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This relief will be phased in. Iran must complete key nuclear steps before it begins to receive sanctions relief,” he said.
If this is true, it could lead Iranian lawmakers to reject the deal — not to mention the supreme leader.
The Islamic Republic does get more than $100 billion out of the deal, as well as a lifted oil embargo in Europe and an end to banking sanctions.
“And over the course of the next decade, Iran must abide by the deal before additional sanctions are lifted, including five years for restrictions related to arms and eight years for restrictions related to ballistic missiles,” Obama added.
The president then heaped pressure on Congress, which will now begin reviewing the deal.
“As the American people and Congress review the deal it will be important to consider the alternative. Consider what happens in a world without this deal. Without this deal, there is no scenario where the world joins us in sanctioning Iran until it completely dismantles its nuclear program. Nothing we know about the Iranian government suggests that it would simply capitulate under that kind of pressure and the world would not support an effort to permanently sanction Iran into submission,” Obama said.
“…No deal means no lasting constraints on Iran’s nuclear program. Such a scenario would make it more likely that other countries in the region would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear programs, threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world,” he added in a dig at the Saudis.
“And I have no doubt that 10 or 15 years from now, the person who holds this office will be in a far stronger position with Iran further away from a weapon and with the inspections and transparency that allow us to monitor the Iranian program.”
Obama said he welcomes a “robust debate” on the deal, “but I will remind Congress that you don’t make deals like this with your friends.”
“We negotiated arms control agreements with the Soviet Union when that nation was committed to our destruction and those agreements ultimately made us safer. I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies. So I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal,” he said.
“We do not have to accept an inevitable spiral into conflict. And we certainly shouldn’t seek it. And precisely because the stakes are so high this is not the time for politics or posturing. 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 pursuing a nuclear weapon.”
Obama said his administration shares “concerns expressed by many of our friends in the Middle East, including Israel and the Gulf states, about Iran’s support for terrorism and its use of proxies to destabilize the region.”
“We will continue our unprecedented efforts to strengthen Israel’s security, efforts that go beyond what any American administration has done before.”
The president chided Iran that “the path of violence and rigid ideology, a foreign policy based on threats to attack your neighbors or eradicate Israel, that’s a dead end.”
“A different path, one of tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflict, leads to more integration into the global economy, more engagement with the international community and the ability of the Iranian people to prosper and thrive. This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it,” he said.
“…History shows that America must lead, not just with our might, but with our principles. It shows we are stronger, not when we are alone, but when we bring the world together. Today’s announcement marks one more chapter in this pursuit of a safer and more helpful, more hopeful world.”