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Statement By The President On First Step Agreement On Iran's Nuclear Program

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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.

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Kit B (276)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 8:25 am
Photo Credit: Occupy Democrats

From The White House:

Statement By The President On First Step Agreement On Iran's Nuclear Program

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, 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’ve made clear my determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As I’ve said many times, my strong preference is to resolve this issue peacefully, and we’ve 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 United Nations 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-plus-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 stockpiles. 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 with 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 unless everything is agreed to. The burden is on Iran to prove to the world that its nuclear program will be exclusively for 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. If, on the other hand, 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 -– because 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 commitments 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. But 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’ve taken today marks the most significant and tangible progress that we’ve made with Iran since I took office. And 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, and 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.

Thank you very much.
President Obama | White House |


Arielle S (313)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 10:26 am
Wouldn't it be nice if we could have peaceful relations with many - dare I say ALL?- other countries? Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to strut our stuff and be the tough guys all the time?

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 10:50 am
Thanks Kit.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 12:32 pm
THANK YOU SO MUCH Mr president and Mr Secretary for having made the world "a much more dangerous place"
(that man(plus some media soo suxx!, you get what I mean)

Angelika R (143)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 12:39 pm
This amazing news kept me up late again last night, do not regret the lost sleep,though! What I noticed-unless I missed other images- was that the Iranian Foreign minister-contrary to ALL OTHERS- did NOT shake hands/touch at all Lady C. Ashton at the end of the Geneva talks after the statements for the public. -??

David C (25)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 1:03 pm
having done more than enough scatology-studies this week already (tortured myself with even one more speech by Mr. Netanyaho, e.g.), i'll just skip this one excretion of Mr. nobelprizy-for-Hypocrisy.


Elle B (84)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 2:17 pm
Ty for posting Kit ...

To make this type of progress without the W-B Greedy Opps Party [Whiner-Bully GOP] obstructing at full throttle would be significant. . .to do so in spite of it sends a powerful message. . .hopefully sabotage and confusion will not reign nor deter so that diplomatic efforts as tricky and treacherous as they may be now. . . will continue forward. . .

"Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness." ―Thomas Huxley

“Keep trying to do what is necessary, then what's possible and suddenly you're doing the impossible.” ― St. Francis of Assisi [1181 – 1226]

"All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“I quote others only to better express myself.” * ―Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, 1533―1592

*[...and to honor those who walked before for better and for worse and took the time to share their wisdom...]


Franshisca Dearmas (89)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 2:58 pm
Noted. TY Kit

JL A (281)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 4:45 pm
Proof that we can have effective foreign policy that includes something beyond knee-jerk "bombs away."

Giana P (398)
Sunday November 24, 2013, 11:45 pm
I have a problem...I am very happy that disputes are settled peacefully, the last thing we need now is another war, but my Prime Minister (who I really don't respect very much) is making sounds of worry and danger and I don't know who to believe anymore! Is this really a dangerous agreement? Are we, as Israelies, going to suffer as a result? Who is telling the truth? Who is the naive one? Who is the one who sees things as they really are? Aghhhhhhhhhhhh

Sherri G (128)
Monday November 25, 2013, 1:43 am
Thanks Kit. Let's hope the negotiations work. Noted

Craig Pittman (52)
Monday November 25, 2013, 5:18 am
Diplomacy can work and this hopefully will provide a template for all future trigger points.

Kit B (276)
Monday November 25, 2013, 8:22 am

If and as this is still in the opening rounds of talks, so IF a real agreement can be reached and IF Iran is sincere in the negotiations to dissemble their nuclear program; then this becomes a win for the countries in the region, for Iran as the sanctions will end. It is a good sign that Iran is willing to negotiate, how far that will take us is still an unknown.

"There was less surprise in the announcement of the historic interim nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers than there was in the revelation that Washington and Tehran have for months been holding regularly direct negotiations in secret. Those parallel talks, which are believed to have helped set the stage for the agreement concluded early Sunday in Geneva, suggest that a broader strategic shift may be on the cards to ease the bitter three-decade enmity between the U.S. and Iran – and that's a development that worries Washington's traditional allies in the Middle East."

This article sheds more light on what is happening and has been in works for a while now.


Past Member (0)
Monday November 25, 2013, 8:52 am
Giana, your worries are fully worried.

If Obama could not take care of Obamacare website, which was developed under his nose, how can he possibly outsmart master cheaters in Teheran? He simply can't. Those crazy mullahs are not interested in promoting peace and serenity in the world. They are there to promote Jihad, their radical views and the influence.

Unless squeezed really tight, they will be trying to continue their terror and fighting. Obama let them go in a very wrong time. Good that you have PM and intelligence to know and address this issue.


lee e (114)
Monday November 25, 2013, 8:52 am
I get disgusted with Netanyahu's hawkish attitude, negotiation is not on his table - only bombs - I say give negotiation a chance first - we can't afford another war!

Past Member (0)
Monday November 25, 2013, 8:53 am
Sorry, I meant "your worries are fully warranted".

Angelika R (143)
Monday November 25, 2013, 12:05 pm
Tell Congress: Don't Sabotage Diplomacy With Iran
Kit's comment about those secret US_IRAN negotiations/talks was very helpful for many I assume and they were undoubtedly most helpful for this step on the way to a comprehensive agreement.
Bob A's comment is bias and should NOT be considered by Giana, whom I erfectly understand. I do hope that she and many more Israelis could open their eyes and see and understand what person their PM and his policies really are. Bibi unfortunately is way too close with the war hawks in US congress who ONLY want to make money and profit from going to war, enslaved to the military industrial complex. THIS IS THE BITTER TRUTH:

Angelika R (143)
Monday November 25, 2013, 12:16 pm
Giana-in case this might help you to come to your own clonclusion, I will repeat here a very well known fact:
Netanyahu's PERMANENT repeats in claiming "Iran is close to developing the bomb" IS A LIE ! ALL monitoring and findings by CIA AND UN denied this and stated there is not the slightest sign of Iran being close to it nor is there ANY SIGN of military purpose for their production process.
Nobody is a mind reader and knows what their true intentions are, I'm only pointing out to you how your PM has a HABIT of interpreting things, probably pushed by his own military hawks, just like in the US.

Angelika R (143)
Monday November 25, 2013, 12:22 pm
The "naive one/s" may well be yourself and a large part of your fellow Israelis, I'm afraid. All others opposing any peace agreement with ARABS in general are simply BIAS and/or haters. I am purposely not using the term "Islamophobes" to avoid getting jumped on for totally false assumptions,-nobody would want the Sharia!

Kit B (276)
Monday November 25, 2013, 12:31 pm

Follow the money, the end of the rainbow is always about money.

Roger G (154)
Monday November 25, 2013, 1:03 pm
noted, thanks

Lois Jordan (63)
Monday November 25, 2013, 3:22 pm
Noted. Guess my comment did a disappearing act. Anyway, thanks, Kit. We must not listen to the war hawks. They're perfectly happy to prop up the military-corporate war machine.....sometimes I think that peace just isn't in their vocabulary. What Obama stated sets a good foundation for peace, and we must continue to push Congress in that direction.

Angelika R (143)
Monday November 25, 2013, 3:43 pm
Even if no more visitors drop in here, I'll still throw in petitions:
Thank the Obama Administration for Pursuing Diplomacy with Iran
Feel free Kit to spread these two one way or another...

Kit B (276)
Monday November 25, 2013, 4:31 pm

I signed both petitions, Angelika and thank you for posting them.

Angelika R (143)
Monday November 25, 2013, 4:37 pm
It's fair to say that is something we ALL have their backs I think.

lee e (114)
Monday November 25, 2013, 6:13 pm
Thanks Angelika - I too signed both petitions!

Lois Jordan (63)
Monday November 25, 2013, 10:52 pm
Forgot to say I also signed the petitions. Thank you, Angelika.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 1:44 am

Past Member (0)
Tuesday November 26, 2013, 5:10 pm
Giana, to reply to unwarranted reply by Angelika.

There are many naive or indoctrinated individuals, assuming that if they don't see the evil then the evil does not exists. Obviously, living in a nice, safe and comfortable place in USA, they don't see much of the evil! Often, the worst "evil" they see is their employer!

Such people have a tendency to scream loud calls for peace without thinking, at which direction they should scream.

They may try to call their opponents BIAS or HATE to try to scare them, because meaningful words crash naive dreams.

The sad truth is, that Arab states do not live in peace with each other. Iran is at war with several Muslim states. Only a person with the eyes completely shut from this world, or an Islamic PR machine of Shia faith can say with a straight face that Iran may live peacefully with Israel, with Saudis and with US.

Iranian bomb moves Iran to being at par with the Big Satan (that's us) and the Small Satan (that's you).

It does not matter who says what. Jihad calls for action, and that action will not be stopped by those following Jihad at the level of Islamic Republic of Iran.


Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 27, 2013, 5:38 pm
Ros, I don't play into anyone hands.

Raising of China is my old concern, but that is unstoppable. I am surely not laughing at China, and not at their raising might.

Iran is not China and can and must be stopped. China is ruled by pragmatists caring somewhat for their people. Iranian ruling mullas are crazy indoctrinated mob with the militancy in their head and not giving a damn about their own people. This is not a smoke and mirrors. That is for real. While I oppose any military action on Iran, I certainly think it is imperative to squeeze their economy to the point when regular folks will be fed up with it enough to tell mullas: Butter instead of Bomb.

Then we should let the sanctions go, not now.
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