President Obama Answers Iran Deal Questions on Quora

3 minute read

Barack Obama is no stranger to using non-traditional media to communicate with constituents, and the President further cemented his reputation for social media savvy Thursday when he took to the question-and-answers wesbite Quora to address users’ lingering concerns about the administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran.

Here are the highlights from Obama’s answers:

Would a rejection of the Iran nuclear deal by the US Congress be a vote for war?

We can either prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through diplomacy, or be left with a form of war. Those are the options. As Commander-in-Chief, I have not shied away from using force when necessary, but I cannot in good conscience place the burden of war on our men and women in uniform without testing a diplomatic agreement that achieves a better result. That is the lesson that I hope we’ve learned from more than a decade of war and the weight of its consequences. Diplomacy is not easy, but it is a better choice.

Can Iran’s leaders be trusted?

So let me be clear: This agreement is not based on trust. It’s based exclusively on unprecedented verification. Never before has a nuclear non-proliferation agreement included such a robust and far-reaching monitoring and transparency regime. Under this agreement, Iran is prohibited from ever pursuing a nuclear weapon — and we will be in the strongest position ever to make sure that Iran follows through.

What is it about the Iran nuclear deal that keeps them from getting nuclear weapons?

Under this agreement, Iran is never allowed to build a nuclear weapon — period. Every single pathway Iran could use is effectively blocked by this deal. Here’s how: It takes either enriched uranium or plutonium to build a nuclear weapon. The only site where Iran can create weapons-grade plutonium is at its Arak reactor. Under this deal, the core of the Arak reactor will be pulled out, filled with concrete, and replaced with one that will not produce weapons-grade plutonium. Furthermore, the spent fuel from that reactor will be shipped out of the country and Iran will not build any new heavy-water reactors for at least 15 years.

Read the full Q&A over at Quora.

The President’s question and answer session isn’t the only way the White House has attempted to use social media to defend the Iran deal. The Obama administration has also been running a Twitter account dedicated to answering questions about the agreement, and has published a number of blog posts (including the full text of the deal) to present its case for the deal directly to the public.

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