In an historic achievement, the United States along with its P5 +1 partners, the European Union, and Iran have completed a comprehensive nuclear accord. The deal, reached July 13, cuts off all pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon, and, in a phased sequence, lifts nuclear sanctions on Iran.
President Barack Obama said the deal “meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework this spring.” In addition to blocking all pathways to a bomb, the deal will put in place an inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective; Iran will remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges; it will not use its advanced centrifuges to produce enriched uranium for the next decade; and it will get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium.
Iran will also modify its reactor in Arak so that it will not produce weapons grade plutonium, and will ship the spent fuel from the reactor out of the country for the life-time of the reactor.
President Obama said that the international community put sanctions on Iran to get a diplomatic resolution:
“And that is what we have done. Without this deal there would be no agreed-upon limitations for the Iranian 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.”
Mr. Obama cautioned that reaching a nuclear accord will not resolve all of our differences with Iran, including Iran’s support for terrorism and its use of proxies to destabilize the region. The U.S. sanctions related to terrorism, Iran’s ballistic missile program, and its human rights violations will be maintained. But President Obama reiterated his promise to the Iranian people that the United States “will always be open to engagement on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect:”
“Our differences are real and the difficult history between our nations cannot be ignored. But it is possible to change…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,” President Obama said. “We should seize it.”