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  • The President: Today, after two years of negotiations,

  • the United States, together with our international

  • partners, has achieved something that decades

  • of animosity has not -- a comprehensive, long-term deal

  • with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining

  • a nuclear weapon.

  • 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.

  • This deal is also in line with a tradition

  • of American leadership.

  • It's now more than 50 years since President Kennedy

  • stood before the American people and said,

  • "Let us never negotiate out of fear,

  • but let us never fear to negotiate."

  • He was speaking then about the need for discussions

  • between the United States and the Soviet Union,

  • which led to efforts to restrict the spread of nuclear weapons.

  • In those days, the risk was a catastrophic

  • nuclear war between two super powers.

  • In our time, the risk is that nuclear weapons will

  • spread to more and more countries, particularly

  • in the Middle East, the most volatile region in our world.

  • Today, because America negotiated from a position

  • of strength and principle, we have stopped

  • the spread of nuclear weapons in this region.

  • Because of this deal, the international community

  • will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic

  • of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.

  • This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines

  • that we established when we achieved a framework

  • earlier this spring.

  • Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off.

  • And the inspection and transparency regime necessary

  • to verify that objective will be put in place.

  • Because of this deal, Iran will not produce the highly

  • enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium that

  • form the raw materials necessary for a nuclear bomb.

  • Because of this deal, Iran will remove two-thirds of its

  • installed centrifuges -- the machines necessary to produce

  • highly enriched uranium for a bomb -- and store

  • them under constant international supervision.

  • Iran will not use its advanced centrifuges

  • to produce enriched uranium for the next decade.

  • Iran will also get rid of 98 percent

  • of its stockpile of enriched uranium.

  • To put that in perspective, Iran currently has a stockpile

  • that could produce up to 10 nuclear weapons.

  • Because of this deal, that stockpile will be reduced

  • to a fraction of what would be required for a single weapon.

  • This stockpile limitation will last for 15 years.

  • Because of this deal, Iran will modify the core

  • of its reactor in Arak so that it will not produce

  • weapons-grade plutonium.

  • And it has agreed to ship the spent fuel from the reactor

  • out of the country for the lifetime of the reactor.

  • For at least the next 15 years, Iran will

  • not build any new heavy-water reactors.

  • Because of this deal, we will, for the first time,

  • be in a position to verify all of these commitments.

  • That means this deal is not built on trust;

  • it is built on verification.

  • Inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran's

  • key nuclear facilities.

  • Inspectors will have access to Iran's entire nuclear

  • supply chain -- its uranium mines and mills,

  • its conversion facility, and its centrifuge manufacturing

  • and storage facilities.

  • This ensures that Iran will not be able to divert

  • materials from known facilities to covert ones.

  • Some of these transparency measures will be in place

  • for 25 years.

  • Because of this deal, inspectors will also

  • be able to access any suspicious location.

  • Put simply, the organization responsible for the inspections,

  • the IAEA, will have access where necessary, when necessary.

  • That arrangement is permanent.

  • And the IAEA has also reached an agreement with Iran to get

  • access that it needs to complete its investigation

  • into the possible military dimensions of Iran's

  • past nuclear research.

  • Finally, Iran is permanently prohibited from pursuing

  • a nuclear weapon under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation

  • Treaty, which provided the basis for the international

  • community's efforts to apply pressure on Iran.

  • 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 new sanctions relief.

  • 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.

  • All of this will be memorialized and endorsed

  • in a new United Nations Security Council resolution.

  • And if Iran violates the deal, all of these sanctions

  • will snap back into place.

  • So there's a very clear incentive for Iran to follow

  • through, and there are very real consequences for a violation.

  • That's the deal.

  • It has the full backing of the international community.

  • Congress will now have an opportunity to review the

  • details, and my administration stands ready to provide

  • extensive briefings on how this will move forward.

  • 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.

  • We put sanctions in place 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.

  • Iran could produce, operate and test more and more centrifuges.

  • Iran could fuel a reactor capable of producing

  • plutonium for a bomb.

  • And we would not have any of the inspections that allow

  • us to detect a covert nuclear weapons program.

  • In other words, 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.

  • It would also present the United States with fewer

  • and less effective options to prevent Iran

  • from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

  • I've been President and Commander-in-Chief for

  • over six years now.

  • Time and again, I have faced decisions

  • about whether or not to use military force.

  • It's the gravest decision that any President has to make.

  • Many times, in multiple countries,

  • I have decided to use force.

  • And I will never hesitate to do so when

  • it is in our national security interest.

  • I strongly believe that our national security interest now

  • depends upon preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon

  • -- which means that without a diplomatic resolution,

  • either I or a future U.S. President would face

  • a decision about whether or not to allow

  • Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon or whether to use

  • our military to stop it.

  • Put simply, no deal means a greater chance

  • of more war in the Middle East.

  • Moreover, we give nothing up by testing whether

  • or not this problem can be solved peacefully.

  • If, in a worst-case scenario, Iran violates the deal,

  • the same options that are available to me today will

  • be available to any U.S. President in the future.

  • 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.

  • For this reason, I believe it would be irresponsible

  • to walk away from this deal.

  • But on such a tough issue, it is important that

  • the American people and their representatives in Congress

  • get a full opportunity to review the deal.

  • After all, the details matter.

  • And we've had some of the finest nuclear scientists

  • in the world working through those details.

  • And we're dealing with a country -- Iran --

  • that has been a sworn adversary of the United States

  • for over 35 years.

  • So I welcome a robust debate in Congress on this issue,

  • and I welcome scrutiny of the details of this agreement.

  • 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

  • interest of the United States and our allies.

  • So I will veto any legislation that

  • prevents the successful implementation of this deal.

  • 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.

  • Now, that doesn't mean that this deal will

  • resolve all of our differences with Iran.

  • We share the 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.

  • But that is precisely why we are taking this step --

  • because an Iran armed with a nuclear weapon would

  • be far more destabilizing and far more dangerous

  • to our friends and to the world.

  • Meanwhile, we will maintain our own sanctions related

  • to Iran's support for terrorism, its ballistic

  • missile program, and its human rights violations.

  • We will continue our unprecedented efforts to

  • strengthen Israel's security -- efforts that go beyond

  • what any American administration has done before.

  • And we will continue the work we began at Camp David to elevate

  • our partnership with the Gulf States to strengthen

  • their capabilities to counter threats from Iran

  • or terrorist groups like ISIL.

  • However, I believe that we must continue to test whether

  • or not this region, which has known so much suffering,

  • so much bloodshed, can move in a different direction.

  • Time and again, I have made clear to the Iranian people

  • that we 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.

  • 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.

  • We have come a long way to reach this point -- decades

  • of an Iranian nuclear program, many years of sanctions,

  • and many months of intense negotiation.

  • Today, I want to thank the members of Congress from both

  • parties who helped us put in place the sanctions that have

  • proven so effective, as well as the other

  • countries who joined us in that effort.

  • I want to thank our negotiating partners --

  • the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China,

  • as well as the European Union --

  • for our unity in this effort, which showed that

  • the world can do remarkable things when we share

  • a vision of peacefully addressing conflicts.

  • We showed what we can do when we do not split apart.

  • And finally, I want to thank the American negotiating team.

  • We had a team of experts working for several

  • weeks straight on this, including our Secretary

  • of Energy, Ernie Moniz.

  • And I want to particularly thank John Kerry,

  • our Secretary of State, who began his service to this