From Obama’s ‘Weekly Address’ at the White House, April 4, 2015
This week, together with our allies and partners, we reached an historic understanding with Iran, Ayatollah Khameneni 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.
From Tehran, April 19, 2015, the Ayatollah Ali Khameni:
Iran’s supreme leader said it is a myth that his country is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and he accused the U.S. and Israel of posing the real threat to security in the Middle East.
In remarks Sunday to mark Iran’s annual Army Day, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei exhorted troops to increase their defensive preparedness and said his country was constantly under threat of military action and wasn’t even given ample scope to defend itself.
“They fabricated the nuclear weapon myth to say that the Islamic Republic is a threat,” Mr. Khamenei said, according to his official website. “No! The threat is the U.S.,” he said, accusing Washington of interfering and fomenting insecurity. The U.S. and Israel both act without any checks and “meddle in any place they find necessary,” he said….
The other side rudely threatens us with military action constantly,” Mr. Khamenei said. “And it goes further, saying the Islamic Republic shouldn’t have defensive capability.”
After the framework agreement, Russia lifted a self-imposed ban on the delivery of the S-300 missile-defense system to Iran. If installed, its presence would complicate any effort to strike Iranian nuclear facilities.
From the Washington Post, April 19, 2015, Jennifer Rubin
But wait. It gets worse. The Wall Street Journal reports: “The Obama administration estimates Iran has between $100 billion and $140 billion of its oil revenue frozen in offshore accounts as a result of sanctions. U.S. officials said they expect Tehran to gain access to these funds in phases as part of a final deal. Iran could receive somewhere between $30 billion and $50 billion upon signing the agreement, said congressional officials briefed by the administration.
And from the Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2015. the same paragraph linked above.
If this is the current state of “the deal,” we have a lot to worry about. President Obama’s understanding of the “framework agreement” and Iran’s understanding are a few miles apart. I don’t believe either party, and I don’t believe in the deal, and I think the president is selling the country down the river, because he’s way in over his head, I just don’t see any favorable end to this effort.
As Jeff Jacoby wrote today in the Boston Globe:
Tehran’s rulers may have lied for years about their nuclear activities; their negotiated commitments to suspend enrichment and submit to inspections may not be worth the ink they sign them with.
But the mullahs don’t lie about what matters to them most: death to America, the extermination of Israel, unrelenting global jihad. They say they are deadly serious.
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