News / Middle East

Obama Calls Iran Nuclear Agreement Important First Step

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about an agreement reached with Iran on its nuclear program at the White House in Washington, Nov. 23, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about an agreement reached with Iran on its nuclear program at the White House in Washington, Nov. 23, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama says the agreement reached Sunday between Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, will substantially curb Iran's nuclear program and cut off Iran’s most likely paths to an atomic bomb, in exchange for modest but reversible relief from international sanctions.

Obama said the agreement halts Iran's nuclear program for the first time in nearly a decade, and rolls back key parts of it, paving the way for the next phase of negotiations.

He said the election of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani earlier this year created an opening for intensive diplomacy pursued by the United States and its partners.

The president said, "Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure - a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon."

A written White House statement detailed what will occur in the first phase, including Iran's commitment to halt enrichment of uranium above the 5 percent level, and to neutralize its stockpile of near 20 percent enriched uranium.

The statement says Iran agrees to not install additional centrifuges of any type, including next-generation centrifuges of major concern to the international community.  Centrifuges are used to enrich uranium.

Iran also agreed to leave inoperable roughly half of installed centrifuges at the nuclear site at Natanz, and three-quarters of installed centrifuges at Fordow.

President Obama said Iran has also committed to stopping work at its plutonium reactor at Arak, the focus of intense concern by those opposed to Iran's nuclear ambitions.  There will be "intrusive monitoring" of Iran's nuclear program, including daily inspections at Natanz and Fordow.

In return, Iran receives what the agreement calls limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible relief from sanctions.  Obama stressed that this modest relief is conditioned on Iran following through on its commitments.
 
"If Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six month phase, we will turn off the relief, and ratchet up the pressure," said the president.
 
Obama said the next phase will be aimed at negotiating a comprehensive solution, and involve what he called the basic understanding that Iran, like other nations, should be able to access peaceful nuclear energy.  

But he said, Iran's record of violating obligations makes it necessary for it to accept strict limitations on its nuclear program that will make it impossible to develop a nuclear weapon.

"In these negotiations, nothing will be agreed to until everything is agreed to," said Obama. "The burden is on Iran to prove to the world that its nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes."

Obama said if Iran seizes this opportunity, it can begin to chip away at mistrust with the United States and have a path for a new beginning with the wider world.  If it does not, it will face growing pressure and isolation.

The president also sought to address concerns of Israel and U.S. partners in the Gulf, saying they have "good reason to be skeptical about Iran's intentions."

And he again appealed to members of the U.S. Congress not to move forward with new sanctions, saying doing so would "derail this promising first step" alienate U.S. allies, and "risk unraveling the coalition that enabled sanctions to be enforced on Iran in the first place."

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kehinde Philip from: Nigeria
November 24, 2013 10:58 AM
Israel should not worry,. Only trust the God o your. fathers. In book of Isaiah 35vs4, 41vs10, 54vs17. Fear not Israel fear not Benjamem Netanyahu.

by: Dr. Hans from: Germany
November 24, 2013 10:41 AM
History has a way to prove such stupidity for what it really is... remember Chamberlain...?? there are regimes with which we shouldn't bargain with. They are the axis of evil... truly.
The Iranian clerical fascistic regime considers its own citizenry as imbecilic. it is against the depravity of such regimes we have bonded in collective security. And now, Obama, and his uniquely stupid Kerry, have guaranteed the survival of this particularly revolting regime. in Europe, nobody understand where this Obama is coming from or where he plans to go... the whole Western alliance is floundering. The US is actively promoting the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood... they openly spurn their closet Arab friends... they muzzled Israel from any preemptive strike... I don't know what it is... but something is drastically wrong with Obama...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More