Iran deal built ‘not on trust, but on verification’: Obama

US President Barack Obama says Iran nuclear deal cuts off ‘every pathway’ to Iranian atomic weapon, and America has ‘stopped the spread of nuclear weapons’ in Middle East by negotiating from ‘a position of strength and principle’

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

US President Barack Obama held a televised press conference at the White House on Tuesday morning 7am (1100 GMT), calling the nuclear deal with Iran an opportunity worth seizing and warned the US Congress that he would veto any legislation that prevents its successful implementation.

Emphasising that the deal was built on “verification, not trust,” President Obama said it would be “irresponsible” to reject.

Obama reminded the audience of the “difficult history” between the United States and Iran that “cannot be ignored,” but that the deal “demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring real and meaningful change.”

The US president warned, in the event that Iran deviates from measures framed in the agreement, all sanctions “will snap back into place.”

Calling the Middle East the most volatile region in the world, Obama said the deal would benefit the region. “No deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,” he noted.

The nuclear deal with Iran which took two years to negotiate between the country and six world powers - the US, the UK, Russia, China, Germany and France - must be examined by Congress in a 60-day assessment period.

Congress does not have to ratify the deal, but has the power to block it with a resolution of disapproval within the review period.

Obama said he would veto any legislation that would impose new sanctions on Iran or prevent him from suspending the existing ones. If things came to that, overriding the president’s veto would require the approval of two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who also served as Secretary of State in Obama administration for four years, supported Obama and endorsed the deal with Iran.

“This is an important step in putting a lid on Iran's nuclear program,” Clinton said shortly after the announcement of deal.

However, she was also cautious and emphasised the process saying “We have to treat this as an ongoing enforcement effort.”

Obama is expected to speak with world leaders on Tuesday while the White House is expected to start lobbying in favour of the nuclear deal.

TRTWorld and agencies