President Obama said world leaders had come to a “historic understanding” on a possible deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
In a White House addressed at Americans, Iran and critics of the negotiations at home and abroad, Obama touted the transparency requirements on Iran’s nuclear capability as laid out in the deal under which the country would face “more inspections than any other country in the world."
“This deal is not based on trust,” he said, speaking from a podium in the Rose Garden on Thursday. “It is based on unprecedented verification.”
“If Iran cheats, we will know it,” he said. “If we see something suspicious, we will address it.”
Obama, however, acknowledged that today's announcement is only the first step. World leaders still have until June to formally accept the proposed deal.
Under the proposed deal, Iran would also face some relief from both U.S. and European Union sanctions, something likely to gain pushback from Republicans in Congress as well as Iraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been one of the most fervent opponents of the U.S.'s involvement. The President indicated Thursday afternoon he plans to address both sometime on Thursday.
Obama said he’s welcoming the pending debate over the deal, repeatedly calling it the best option in efforts to reach a diplomatic resolution and avoid another war in the Middle East. If Congress fails to accept the deal, he said Thursday, “it is the U.S. that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy.”