Obama marks one-year anniversary of Iran nuclear deal implementation

Obama marks one-year anniversary of Iran nuclear deal implementation
© Greg Nash

President Obama on Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal's implementation, saying the challenges the U.S. faces today would be much worse without it.

Obama said in a statement that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “has achieved significant, concrete results in making the United States and the world a safer place.”

Obama stressed that Iran's nuclear program “faces strict limitations and is subject to the most intrusive inspection and verification program ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program.”

He added that Iran has reduced its uranium stockpile by 98 percent, has removed two-thirds of its centrifuges, has not enriched any uranium at the Fordow facility and has not used advanced centrifuges to enrich.

“In short, Iran is upholding its commitments, demonstrating the success of diplomacy.” 

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The JCPOA, reached between the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, the European Union and Iran, placed specific limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing global oil, trade and financial sanctions.

Obama added, however, that the U.S. remains “steadfast in opposing Iran's threats against Israel and our Gulf partners and its support for violent proxies in places like Syria and Yemen.”

He said officials are “deeply concerned” about U.S. citizens unjustly imprisoned in Iran, adding that sanctions will remain until Tehran “pursues a new path,” citing its human rights abuses, support for terrorist groups and its ballistic missile program.

“There is no question, however, that the challenges we face with Iran would be much worse if Iran were also on the threshold of building a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.

He said the Iran deal “must be measured against the alternatives - a diplomatic resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is far preferable to an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program or another war in the Middle East.”