Obama: 'Every Pathway to a Nuclear Weapon' Cut Off With Iran Deal

The president discusses the long-term deal with Iran that comes after two years of negotiations.
17:46 | 07/14/15

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Transcript for Obama: 'Every Pathway to a Nuclear Weapon' Cut Off With Iran Deal
This is an ABC news. Now reported George Stephanopoulos. Good morning we're coming on the air right now because President Obama is about to speak on this historic nuclear deal with a Ron reached overnight between the west and Iran. Designed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon for at least ten years in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions. On Iran the president about to speak in the east room of the White House. But right now this has been one of his top diplomatic priorities here comes the president what Vice President Biden right now. Today. After two years of negotiations. The United States together or international partners. Has achieved something that decades of animosity has not. A comprehensive long term deal with the wrong 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 more secure. There's deals also in line were they tradition of American leadership. It's now more than fifty 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 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 superpowers. 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. To be Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop in nuclear weapons. 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. In 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 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. Rommel also get rid of 98%. Of its stockpile of enriched uranium. To put that in perspective Iran currently has a stockpile that can produce up to ten that 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 wall last for fifteen years. Because of this deal Iran will modify the core of its reactor in Iraq. So that you 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 fifteen years Iran while 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 447 access to Iran's key nuclear facilities. Iran 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 wars. 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 reach an agreement with a run to get access. That it needs to complete its investigation into possible military dimensions of Iran's past nuclear research. Finally around is permanently prohibited from pursuing a nuclear weapon under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Which provided the basis for the international community's efforts to apply pressure on Iraq. As Ron takes steps to implement this deal here will receive relief from the sanctions that we put in place because of Iran's nuclear program. Both Americans on sanctions and sanctions imposed by the united nations Security Council. This relief will be phased that. 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 left of 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 Toronto violates the deal. All of these sanctions will snap back into place so there's a very clear and senate for Ron to fall 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's stance 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 suggest 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 Iran in nuclear program. Iran could produce operate and test more and more centrifuges. Iran could. Fuel a reactor capable of producing plutonium for bombs and we would not have any of the inspections that allow us to detect. They 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. They're 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 a for six years now. Time and again I have faced decisions about whether or not to use military force. It's the greatest decision that any president has to make. Many times in multiple countries I have decided to use force. Now we'll 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. I derived or a future US 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. 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 and worst case scenario Iran violates the deal. The same options that are available to meet today will be available to any US president in the future. And I've no doubt that ten or fifteen years from now the person who holds this office. Will be in a far stronger position. With a run up further away from my weapon. And with the inspections and transparency that allow us to monitor the Ryan 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 to the American people and their representatives in congress get a full are turning to review the deal. After all the details matter. And we've had some of the finest nuclear scientist 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 the 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 a safer. I am confident that this deal will meet at the national security interest of the United States. And our Allen's. So hold veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal. We do not have to accept an inevitable spiral into conflict. Mis certainly shouldn't seek it. And precisely because the stakes are so hard 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 now pursuing a nuclear weapon. Now that doesn't mean that this deal will resolve all of our differences with Iraq. We share the exits concerns expressed by many of our friends and Middle East including Israel and the gulf states. But Iran's support for terrorism and its use of proxies to destabilize the region. That is precisely why we are taking the 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 the go beyond what any American administration has done before. And we will continue the work we began a Camp David. To elevate our partnership with the gulf states to strengthen their capabilities to counter threats from Iran or terrorist groups like ice. However I believe that we must continue to test whether or not this region. Which is known so much suffering. So much bloodshed. Can move in a different direction. Time and again I've made clear to Iran in people that we will always be open to engagement on the basis of mutual interest. The 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 your running people to prosper and thrive. This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should season. We have come a long way to reach this point. Decades of Enron in nuclear program. Many years of sanctions. And many months of intense negotiations. 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 wells the other countries who joined us in that effort. 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 peace fully addressing conflicts. We showed what we can do when we do not split apart. And finally I want to thank the American negotiating to. We had a team of experts working for several weeks straight on this including our secretary of energy Ernie mornings. And I want to particularly thank John care our secretary of state. Who began his service to this country more than four decades ago when he put on our uniform and went off to war. He's now making this country safer through his commitment to strong principled American diplomacy. History shows that America must lead not just what are marked. For their principles. It shows we are stronger not when we are alone but when we bring the world together. Today's announcement marks one more chapter in this pursuit. Of a safer. And more helpful. More hopeful world. Thank you god bless you. And god bless the United States of America. Pres Obama hailing historic nuclear deal with a Ronnie says it demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change. He'll sit in that every one of America's bottom lines in that no deal. Mean the chance of greater or greater chance of war. Our Martha Raddatz is in Tehran right now and Martha those words from the president seen live on a Ronnie and television as well. They were alive and translated on the running and television where people gathered wrapped around their television sets. They were on the radio right now you have the president of Iran speaking to his nation's of the nation about this deal. There will be celebrating no doubt threw out Iran today. Not necessarily over the deal but the idea these crippling sanctions will be lifted there's also a lot of spin going. Here George they are saying we have now been recognized as a nuclear power but Iran still has not admitted it has been trying to get a bomb George. OK Marta rose thanks for much is gonna Terry Moran our chief foreign correspondent Indiana right now with the negotiators are you just heard the president. Hailing secretary of state Kerry been there for about seventeen straight days. And negotiations in some real sticking points at the end. There really war particularly that UN arms embargo. On conventional weapons like missile technology that was imposed as part. Of the sanctions against Iran's nuclear program that's gonna be lifted and that's a very controversial thing. The devil here is in the details you heard President Obama. Describe this agreement in in the most it's in the strongest possible terms the United States I went to a background briefing with Iran in officials. They're describing it in the strongest possible terms. For them what's most important for Iran force leadership and its people. Is that they don't feel trampled on their dignity is of people. Not invaded in and destroyed by inspections and but this has been put on international probation. That of course is precisely what the United States wants so how this plays out. How this actually operates when it gets going is key. No question about that Jon Karl at the White House right now John we heard the president say he welcomes a debate in congress he is gonna get right. He welcomes a debate that he most certainly able get George look the White House sees this as an historic achievement. Really the president's signature foreign policy achievement. One you've heard the very end of his speech there that could lead to a safer helpful and more hopeful world I mean this. It's bigger even than just the United States and Iran. But congress is going to go our mess and criticize this loudly Georgia especially that issue about the arms embargo they have sixty. Days to review this deal of course the president could veto any action they take as well this is just the beginning of the debate we just heard from pres Obama. Hailing that historic nuclear agreement we're gonna return now to our radar program for many of much of the country that is Good Morning America will be right back. This has been a special. From ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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