News / USA

    Obama: Iran Deal ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Chance

    FILE - President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.
    FILE - President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.
    Victor Beattie

    President Barack Obama said the framework nuclear agreement reached last week with Iran represents a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to bring some stability to the Middle East - stability which would be good for Israel as well as other nations.  However, some members of the U.S. Congress remain unconvinced and a key U.S. lawmaker plans to go ahead with legislation requiring Obama to submit any final agreement to Congress for debate and a vote.

    Speaking to The New York Times Sunday, Obama said he would consider it a fundamental failure of his presidency, if, on his watch or as a consequence of work that he has done, Israel was rendered more vulnerable. He said that would be not just a strategic failure, but a moral failure.

    Message to Israeli people

    Asked what his message is to the Israeli people about the agreement, the president said that while they have a right to be concerned about Iran, they should be equally concerned Iran is not able to acquire nuclear weapons. He said there is no better option to ensure that doesn’t happen than the framework agreement reached in Switzerland. The framework is an outline to be used during subsequent negotiations on a final agreement by the end of June.

    “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” Obama said. But he also expressed hope this diplomatic arrangement can “usher in a new era in U.S.-Iranian relations” and a new era in Tehran’s relations with its neighbors.

    FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem, April 1, 2015.FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem, April 1, 2015.
    x
    FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem, April 1, 2015.
    FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem, April 1, 2015.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on U.S. television Sunday, called the framework agreement a “bad deal” that gives Iran “a free path to the bomb.”

    “It leaves the pre-eminent terrorist state of our time with a vast nuclear infrastructure. Remember, not one centrifuge is destroyed. Thousands of centrifuges will be left spinning uranium. Not a single [nuclear] facility, including underground facilities, is being shut down.

    "This is a deal that leaves Iran the capacity to produce the material for many, many nuclear bombs. It does so by lifting the sanctions pretty much upfront. So, Iran will have billions of dollars flowing into its coffers not for schools, or hospitals, or roads, but to pump up its worldwide terror machine and its military machine, which is busy conquering the Middle East, as we speak,” Netanyahu said.

    He said this is not a partisan issue, or just an Israeli issue, it is a world issue because everyone will be threatened by nuclear-armed Iran.

    Stringent restrictions

    FILE - U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (2nd from Left) participates in Iran nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland.FILE - U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (2nd from Left) participates in Iran nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    x
    FILE - U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (2nd from Left) participates in Iran nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    FILE - U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (2nd from Left) participates in Iran nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who took part in the negotiations, said the agreement will give the international community “almost instantaneous” recognition of any attempt by Iran to evade the deal. Moniz called it a long-term arrangement.

    “There is no sunset. There will be a lot of phases starting with extremely stringent restrictions on Iran’s program. Hopefully, they will comply for a long time, build up confidence. But, we have 10-year restrictions, 15-year restrictions, 25-year restrictions, and we have forever-restrictions. So, this is a long-term program, not something that will go away in a few years,” he said.

    Moniz said the agreement calls for unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear program, not just declared sites, but to any covert aspects of their infrastructure.

    Many unkowns

    FILE - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.FILE - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
    x
    FILE - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
    FILE - Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

    The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tennessee’s Bob Corker, said many details of the agreement are not yet known, making it difficult to determine if this is a good or bad agreement. He said there appear to be discrepancies on how sanctions will be relieved. He also wants to know how snap inspections will be conducted on covert aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, as well as its military dimensions.

    “Again, I’m open. I know there will be a lot of details worked out over the next several months. That’s why, on behalf of the American people, Congress needs to be playing a role. What the American people may not know right now is that there will be all kinds of classified annexes that are very important.

    "They lay out the details as to how much of this is going to take place. And, that’s why it’s so important that Congress play its rightful role in approving this prior to the congressionally-mandated sanctions that we put in place are alleviated,” said Corker.

    Corker said his committee will go ahead with plans to vote April 14 on legislation requiring the president to submit a final agreement to Congress for debate and a vote. It would prohibit Obama from suspending sanctions during a 60-day congressional review. However, he acknowledged he is uncertain if he has the required 67 votes in the 100-seat chamber to override a presidential veto.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 4
        Next 
    by: PermReader
    April 08, 2015 7:05 AM
    International American broadcasting turned propaganda mashine of the ruling Democratic party.The evidence of the fact is characterised by elimination of all contacts with the listeners. These comments of numerouse Muhammads and Ahmeds, supporters of Iran deal of the Muslim-in-Chief just prove the shameful fact.

    by: AHMED from: INDIA
    April 06, 2015 11:25 PM
    This is a good agreement to bring peace in this world. We should give time to All Participants to implement this agreement stage wise.
    Every body is appreciating this agreement except Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both are problem creating countries in this world. Israel is creating problems for Palestinians for the last 60 Years. Just imagine No Education, Health, Jobs or Business for Palestinians. Israel is creating problems in Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.
    Saudi Arab is Major sponsor of Terrorist Organization like Daesh, Taliban, Booko Haram, Nusrant Frant, Qaida and so many Terrorist organization working in Muslim Countries. I cannot under stand Why SA attack Yemen to protect Corrupt and Incompetent Govt, Whereas SA is spending Billions of Oil Income with cooperation of Israel to dismantle Syria completely from world map.

    by: MKHattib from: USA
    April 06, 2015 10:56 PM
    This deal will likely end up on the trash heap of history as the three previous joint statements issued promising agreement on the broad outlines with only “technical” details to be worked out. In each case, a final agreement failed because the regime does not want anything detailed or specific put on paper. The mullahs also want to retain all its’ nuclear infrastructure, but most importantly, they want economic sanctions lifted because the hammer blows on the economy caused by falling oil prices and heavy costs related to their funding of four separate proxy wars now in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen are pushing the regime to the brink of collapse. Unless the regime can pull the wool over the world’s eyes and convince everyone this is indeed a deal, then it risks failing again and for the mullahs, the stakes might mean their survival.

    by: angel rivera-gonzalez from: U.S.A.
    April 06, 2015 7:25 PM
    It is no contest to the fact that nuclear substabce burns the cleanest yet we forever will never forgive ourselves come what may for dropping "The Bomb" on Japan due to unreasonable escalading hate caused by the then based Communists.It is not a discovered substance but how Man subdues it.

    by: Hamed from: Iran
    April 06, 2015 5:04 PM
    I think this agreement will be better relative between iran and word.so, Iran can up its role in world. On The other hand, this relationship case establity in the Middle East but some group in world don't want agreement lead to on Iran nuclear problem. Because this group benefit from this problem. There are these group in Iran too. For example some party in Iran dont solve nuclear problem and better iran and u.s relation. I hope this movement cause be nearly iran and u.s.

    by: ms from: charleston
    April 06, 2015 2:35 PM
    The last time somebody used the 'once in a lifetime' line on me it as a high pressure sales tactic that even salesmen don't use anymore.

    by: Joe Hamilton from: st joseph, missouri
    April 06, 2015 2:10 PM
    To those criticizers of Obama's deal, the other solution is to initiate some preemptive action against Iran now to prevent any perceived action on their part in the future. Will that happen? No.

    by: Simon Von Mohammadstein from: Betelgeuse
    April 06, 2015 2:06 PM
    If Israel signs the NPT, all their criticisms of this deal would have merit. Until then, the world views Israel's stance is hypocritical, sitting in the same club with Pakistan, India, and South Sudan -the only countries who have not signed the the NPT.

    Since 2009, after Fordo was uncovered, Iran has been the most inspected NPT signatory in history, and, if the current deal is finalized, that level of scrutiny will only increase.

    As for Saudi's starting a nuc race, well, they are the country that gave us bombings of our embassies in east Africa, 9/11, Bin Laden and ISIS. And just now they are bombing the only force fighting AQ in the Arabian Peninsula, where our drone war failed. Let's not delude ourselves, they are not on our side, just a patina of alliance built on the exchange of energy for weapons we sell.

    by: Mike from: Pretoria
    April 06, 2015 1:52 PM
    This jokers are at it again! is there a country trying to get a deal with USA to stop the drones from flooding our skies? did Iran really threaten someone or another country? Unfortunately the USA feels that they own this globe and feels that we all depend on them. Iran will make a deal only for it's people to live better, look at the situation in Iraq and Lybia. Did the USA have any concrete evidence?

    by: Tony from: Sooke,BC
    April 06, 2015 1:32 PM
    Back in 1937-38 a similar situation, when a politician from England, returned after a meeting with the Nazi party in Germany, triumphantly proclaimed "peace in our time" History told the result then and I fear the same is true in this case.
    Comments page of 4
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora