After sharp criticism from Republicans and Israel over the short term agreement reached with Iran over the weekend, President Barack Obama fired back implying that those who didn't support this specific agreement favored an “endless cycle of conflict.”
President Barack Obama makes a statement on the agreement reached between six world nations and Iran at an evening address in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. Obama said that the deal that has been struck calls on Iran to limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Obama spoke Monday in San Francisco, delivering remarks on immigration, but he opened talking about the deal with Iran reached in Geneva.
“We cannot close the door on diplomacy,” Obama said. “We cannot rule out peaceful solutions to the world's problems. We cannot commit ourselves to an endless cycle of conflict. Tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it's not the right thing for our security.”
The agreement will allow some lifting of economic sanctions in exchange for Iran denuclearizing and opening up to international inspections.
Obama said the negotiations are consistent with his vision of foreign policy.
“When I first ran for president, I said it was time for a new era for American leadership in the world, one that turned the page on a decade of war and began a new era of our engagement with the world,” Obama said. “As president and as commander in chief, I've done what I said. We ended the war in Iraq. We brought our troops home. Osama bin Laden met justice. The war in Afghanistan will end next year.”
He added that the previous agreement on chemical weapons in Syria was part of this record.
“As the strongest, most powerful nation on earth, we've engaged in clear eyed and principled diplomacy even with out adversaries in order to begin to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, and to place the first real constraints in a decade on Iran's nuclear program,” Obama said. Of Iran, he added, “Key parts of the program will be rolled back.”
He added this would reengage Iran with the rest of the world.
“This will help Iran from building a nuclear weapon,” Obama said. “Over the coming months, we're going to continue our diplomacy with the goal of achieving a comprehensive solution that deals with the threat of Iran's nuclear program once and for all.”