Today, the United States — together with our allies and partners — has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon…. I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final, comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer.
Today, after many months of tough, principled diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal. And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives. This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.
Many key details will be finalized over the next three months, and nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed. But here are the basic outlines of the deal that we are working to finalize.
First, Iran will not be able to pursue a bomb using plutonium, because it will not develop weapons-grade plutonium. The core of its reactor at Arak will be dismantled and replaced. The spent fuel from that facility will be shipped out of Iran for the life of the reactor. Iran will not build a new heavy-water reactor. And Iran will not reprocess fuel from its existing reactors — ever.
Second, this deal shuts down Iran’s path to a bomb using enriched uranium. Iran has agreed that its installed centrifuges will be reduced by two-thirds. Iran will no longer enrich uranium at its Fordow facility. Iran will not enrich uranium with its advanced centrifuges for at least the next 10 years. The vast majority of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium will be neutralized….
Third, this deal provides the best possible defense against Iran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon covertly — that is, in secret. International inspectors will have unprecedented access not only to Iranian nuclear facilities, but to the entire supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program — from uranium mills that provide the raw materials, to the centrifuge production and storage facilities that support the program. If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. Iran’s past efforts to weaponize its program will be addressed. With this deal, Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world.
“Iran had a few hundred working centrifuges in 2003, thousands when Mr. Obama took over and 19,000 now.”
his deal would pose a grave danger to the region and to the world and would threaten the very survival of the state of Israel. The deal would not shut down a single nuclear facility in Iran, would not destroy a single centrifuge in Iran, and would not stop R&D on Iran’s advanced centrifuges. On the contrary, the deal would legitimize Iran’s illegal nuclear program, it would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure. The deal would lift sanctions almost immediately, and this the very time when Iran is stepping up its aggression and terror in the region and beyond the region. In a few years the deal would remove the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, enabling Iran to have a massive enrichment capacity that it could use to produce many nuclear bombs within a matter of months. The deal would greatly bolster Iran’s economy. It would give Iran, thereby, tremendous means to propel its aggression and terrorism throughout the Middle East. Such a deal does not block Iran’s path to the bomb, such a deal paves Iran’s path to the bomb. And it might very well spark a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East, and it might greatly increase the risks of terrible war. Now some say that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That is not true. There is a third alternative. Standing firm, increasing the pressure on Iran, until a good deal is achieved.
And finally, let me say one more thing. Iran is a regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction and openly and actively works toward that end. Just two days ago, in the midst of the negotiations in Losan, the commander of the besieged security forces in Iran said this: “The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.” Well I want to make clear to all, the survival of Israel is non-negotiable. Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a company which vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons… period. In addition, Israel demands that any final agreement with Iran will include a clear and unambiguous Iranian commitment of Israel’s right to exist.”
“We see th
is deal as very dangerous. We say this deal is a move in the wrong direction. If this framework actually becomes the basis, the foundation for a final deal with Iran, we see this like the deal with North Korea. You’ll recall in the 1990s North Korea signed a deal, they committed themselves to non-proliferation, kept their nuclear program intact and when ready they proliferated, they exploded a nuclear device. Today, they threaten east Asia. Iran is much, much more dangerous than North Korea.”
Where the Arab Nations will stand
“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, prince of Rosh, [RSV] Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him… Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”
“Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet.”
“It’s not only about Syria…. it’s about the future of the world. They want to be a great power that has their own say in the future of this world… they want stability, and a political solution. Syria and Iran and Russia see eye to eye regarding this conflict.”
“Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” (Daniel 2:35)
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
“Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan…” (Genesis 25:1–3)
“The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.” (Isaiah 21:13)
“The men of Dedan were thy merchants; many isles were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony.” (Ezekiel 27:15)
“Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots.” (Ezekiel 27:20)
“The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.” (Ezekiel 27:22)
The Arab nations Response
Today, I also spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia to reaffirm our commitment to the security of our partners in the Gulf. And I’m inviting the leaders of the six countries who make up the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain — to meet me at Camp David this spring to discuss how we can further strengthen our security cooperation, while resolving the multiple conflicts that have caused so much hardship and instability throughout the Middle East.
“Between restructuring some of the country’s most important political and economic institutions and launching an unprecedented, large-scale military operation in a neighboring country on the verge of a civil war, we could be witnessing the beginning of a completely new Saudi way of thinking.”
“A philosophical divergence, rather than tactical differences has emerged between Saudi Arabia and the United States over the past two years. That divergence led Saudi officials to warn about a “major shift” in how Saudi Arabia sees its relations with the United States. Saudis have begun to write about the need to develop their own military capability to deter any threat to their security, without having to rely on the United States whose priorities and commitments seemed to have changed significantly under President Obama.”
As Tehran and its clients around the Arab world celebrated the accord as a triumph of Iranian resolve, Saudi Arabia and its allies declared that the agreement had only reinforced their determination to push back against Iranian influence, with or without Washington. On the front lines of battles with Iranian proxies in Syria and Lebanon, some cried betrayal.
“The Saudi king decided his country could no longer bear the provocative Iranian expansive policy in the Middle East, or the American silence over it,” wrote Jamal Khashoggi, a veteran Saudi journalist and former government adviser, in a commentary this week on what he called “the Salman doctrine.”
“things did not change, the agreement addresses one aspect but not the whole issue of Iranian expansionism.”
In Syria, where Iran has sustained President Bashar al-Assad in a proxy war against mostly Sunni Muslim rebels backed by the Persian Gulf monarchies, many in the opposition denounced the deal as a betrayal of Mr. Obama’s stated support for their cause.
Monzer Akbik, a representative of the Syrian opposition coalition in exile, said that the lifting of sanctions on Tehran would mean more cash to support Mr. Assad:
“If the news we’re hearing is true, that $150 billion in Iranian deposits will be released from banks soon, this will help Assad a lot,” he said. “We fully object to any agreements signed at the expense of Syria.”
“We support Arab nations in their effort to ensure a safe future and urge them to resolve all emerging challenges peacefully without any foreign involvement…”
“He speaks about the problems in the Middle East as though Russia is not influencing these problems…”
“The Saudis have declared their readiness for the Israeli Air Force to overfly Saudi air space en route to attack Iran if an attack is necessary.”
“Israel’s Mossad and Saudi officials were said to be working on contingency plans that could have included an attack on Iran if its nuclear program was not curbed enough, according to a report. It was also revealed that the Saudis were willing to assist an Israeli attack by cooperating with the use of drones, rescue helicopters, and tanker planes.