United States President Barack Obama heralded the implementation of a nuclear deal with Iran on Sunday, saying that world powers had cut off every path it had to a nuclear bomb and that a prisoner swap showed what was possible with diplomacy.
"This is a good day because once again we are seeing what's possible through strong American diplomacy," Obama said at the White House adding that Iran would not “get its hands” on a nuclear weapon.
"These things are a reminder of what we can achieve when we lead with strength and with wisdom," Obama added.
Obama also said that four Americans "unjustly detained" by Iran had been freed as part of the same kind of diplomacy with Iran that had led to the landmark nuclear accord, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.
A fifth prisoner, American student Matthew Trevithick, was released separately.
Obama said that the US still had profound differences with Iran and would continue to enforce sanctions against its ballistic missile program.
"Even as we implement the nuclear deal and welcome our Americans home, we recognize that there remain profound differences between the United States and Iran. We remain steadfast in opposing Iran's destabilizing behavior elsewhere," Obama said.
Obama also said that he was hopeful the events signaled an opportunity for Iran to work more cooperatively with the rest of the world.