Transcript of President Obama’s Iran Speech

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obama-funny-faces01Today, the United States – together with our close allies and partners – took an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program.

Since I took office, I have made clear my determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  As I have said many times, my strong preference is to resolve this issue peacefully, and we have extended the hand of diplomacy. Yet for many years, Iran has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the international community.  So my Administration worked with Congress, the U.N. Security Council and countries around the world to impose unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian government.

These sanctions have had a substantial impact on the Iranian economy, and with the election of a new Iranian President earlier this year, an opening for diplomacy emerged.  I spoke personally with President Rouhani of Iran earlier this fall.  Secretary Kerry has met multiple times with Iran’s Foreign Minister.  And we have pursued intensive diplomacy – bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our P5+1 partners: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.

Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure – a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.

While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.  Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment, and neutralizing part of its stockpile. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges—which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited.  Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor.  And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments.

These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb.  Meanwhile, this first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program. And because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program.

On our side, the United States and our friends and allies have agreed to provide Iran modest relief, while continuing to apply our toughest sanctions.  We will refrain from imposing new sanctions, and we will allow the Iranian government access to a portion of the revenue that they have been denied through sanctions.  But the broader architecture of sanctions will remain in place and we will continue to enforce them vigorously.  And if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six month phase, we will turn off the relief, and ratchet up the pressure.

Over the next six months, we will work to negotiate a comprehensive solution. We approach these negotiations with a basic understanding: Iran, like any nation, should be able to access peaceful nuclear energy.  But because of its record of violating its obligations, Iran must accept strict limitations on its nuclear program that make it impossible to develop a nuclear weapon.

In these negotiations, nothing will be agreed to until everything is agreed to. The burden is on Iran to prove to the world that its nuclear program will be for exclusively peaceful purposes. If Iran seizes this opportunity, the Iranian people will benefit from rejoining the international community, and we can begin to chip away at the mistrust between our two nations. This would provide Iran with a dignified path to forge a new beginning with the wider world based on mutual respect. But if Iran refuses, it will face growing pressure and isolation.

Over the last few years, Congress has been a key partner in imposing sanctions on the Iranian government, and that bipartisan effort made possible the progress that was achieved today.  Going forward, we will continue to work closely with Congress.  However, now is not the time to move forward on new sanctions – doing so would derail this promising first step, alienate us from our allies, and risk unraveling the coalition that enabled our sanctions to be enforced in the first place.

That international unity is on display today.  The world is united in support of our determination to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.  Iran must know that security and prosperity will never come through the pursuit of nuclear weapons – it must be reached through fully verifiable agreements that make Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons impossible.

As we go forward, the resolve of the United States will remain firm, as will our commitment to our friends and allies – particularly Israel and our Gulf partners, who have good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions.

Ultimately, only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program.  As President and Commander in Chief, I will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. However, I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush towards conflict. Today, we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement, and I believe we must test it.

The first step that we have taken today marks the most significant and tangible progress that we have made with Iran since I took office. Now, we must use the months ahead to pursue a lasting and comprehensive settlement that would resolve an issue that has threatened our security – and the security of our allies – for decades.  It won’t be easy.  Huge challenges remain ahead.  But through strong and principled diplomacy, the United States of America will do our part on behalf of a world of greater peace, security, and cooperation among nations.

 




7 COMMENTS

  1. Please explain why you use that old, likely photoshopped, picture of the President? It’s obviously not from the speech. What point are you trying to prove?

  2. The actual transcript:
    The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you: ‘ … We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.’

  3. To Businessman and all: i agree and I was referring to that as well- and to his inauguration speech. If you remember in his speech he said ” and I’m sure you are all very happy for me wherever you are in the world , in your caves etc. ” it was very clear to me 5 years ago that a Yishmael just came in to be president ( a puppet from above). Let us all do tshuvah me’ahavah , be mechazek Torah and tfilah , try not to talk in Shul at all. Be’ezras Hashem , he and all enemies will not have a shlitah on klal Yisroel and we should be zocheh to the Geulah bimheirah metoich simcha be”h

  4. To #1: Rashbak

    This Mamzer just sold Erez Ysroel and Jewish People down the drain a the only thing that bathers you how his ugly face looks in that picture? Your priorities are screwed up, my friend.

  5. To Rashbak
    Because this picture cgaracterizes his cynacism and obvious distain. A picture can say 1000 words. Hussain Obama has shown antagonism, distain, antagonism and outright hatred for Israel. He has just thrown Israel under the bus. Again.
    Is this picture, with his obvious sneer, all that you see worth commenting on?

  6. You can take issue with the President’s words, intentions, motives and proposals. To use a photoshopped picture totally unrelated to the article is childish at best.

    We rail at the New York Times when they show pictures of Palestinian parents mourning the imprisonment of their suicide-bomber sons without showing the mourning Israeli parents who lost innocent children. Rightly so! It’s dishonest. It’s also dishonest here. I’d expect better of a publication that supposedly preaches Torah values.

    As to the content, it’s easy for us who are not in the US (or Israeli) military to demand military action, because it’s not our lives or our children’s lives on the line. Had Iran said they’d dismantle their entire program tomorrow, would any of you believe it? I wouldn’t. None of us would. Some steps have to be taken first to show that Iran will do what it says. And that’s what this deal is. Shut down part of the program, get some food. The next step is shutting down the whole program for better economic relations. It is ideal? No. It is better than allowing Iran to continue development unimpeded? Yes. It is better than embroiling the US is ANOTHER middle eastern war with no clear outcome? For the moment, I’d say so.

    As to your broader point, Israel’s doing much better than it has in terms of security than during the previous administrations. I was there when buses and pizzerias were blowing up every other day. Israel is able to act without restraint in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon (I don’t consider a whiny UN to be restraint). Israel has gotten everything it wanted from Congress and the President without question or hold up, despite our sagging economy. Every Israeli general has said that security cooperation is better now that it was ever before. I’ll take their word over Politician Netanyahu, who governs without even a plurality of the vote. Not every adversary is Hitler and not every disagreement is throwing Israel under the bus.

    Step out of your little bubble for a minute and see the world for what it is. A very complicated place with multiple interests and nuances.