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President Barack Obama’s statement on the Iran nuclear accord delivered Tuesday at the White House.
Anticipating the tough road ahead in convincing Congress to back the Iran nuclear agreement, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would “veto” any legislation that blocks the deal.
Congress has 60 days to review the comprehensive agreement. If it rejects the deal, and President Obama vetoes the rejection, a two-thirds vote in Congress would be necessary to override his veto.
President Obama said from the White House Tuesday morning that it is in the nation’s security interest to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and without such a diplomatic solution, there is “a greater chance for more war in the Middle East” as other countries would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear programs.
“I believe it would be irresponsible to walk away from this deal,” he continued, saying he welcomes a robust debate in Congress. But “I will remind Congress that you don’t make deals like this with your friends.”
“I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal,” he said. “This is not the time for politics or posturing.”
The accord freezes Iran’s ability to produce enough material to make a nuclear weapon for 10 years and establishes new international inspections of its nuclear facilities. It also reportedly continues a U.N. arms embargo on Tehran for up to five more years, which could end earlier if the International Atomic Energy Agency definitively clears the country from working on nuclear weapons.
“Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” said President Obama. “This deal is not built on trust, it is built on verification.”
As Iran takes steps to implement the agreement, sanctions imposed by the United States and U.N. Security Council would be lifted. If Iran violates the pact, sanctions will “snap back,” the president said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also faces skepticism at home from those who view the United States as “the Great Satan.” Rouhani spoke at the same time as President Obama in his country announcing the resolution to the talks.
Larisa Epatko produced multimedia web features and broadcast reports with a focus on foreign affairs for the PBS NewsHour. She has reported in places such as Jordan, Pakistan, Iraq, Haiti, Sudan, Western Sahara, Guantanamo Bay, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Turkey, Germany and Ireland.
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