12:31 GMT06 March 2021
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    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)
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    US President Barack Obama delivered a speech on the historic Iran nuclear deal reached in Vienna.

    US President Barack Obama said that the agreement with Iran prevents the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region and promised to veto any legislation that could hamper the deal's implementation.

    "Today because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region," Obama said, adding that the international community will be able to verify every aspect of the treaty.

    Tehran will not produce highly enriched uranium and plutonium needed for nuclear weapons’ development, Obama said. The Islamic Republic will also get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium, he added.

    Earlier on Monday Iran and the P5+1 Group have come to a final agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program after over two weeks of strenuous talks. The deal ensures the civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for gradual lifting of sanctions.

    The United States will retain a number of sanctions against Iran despite the agreement. "That does not mean that this deal will resolve all of our differences with Iran," Obama said in his televised address.

    If Iran does not adhere to the agreement on its nuclear program hammered out jointly with the P5+1 group of six world powers or violates it, the sanctions will be imposed once again, Obama said.

    "Over the course of the next decade Iran must abide by the deal before additional sanctions are lifted… All of this will be memorialized and endorsed in a new UN Security Council resolution. And if Iran violates the deal all these sanctions will snap back into place."

    The United States will keep in place the sanctions "related to Iran support for terrorism, its ballistic missile program and its human rights violations," the US leader said.

    The agreement envisages that the UN arms embargo against Iran will remain for another five years. US missile sanctions will stay intact for another eight years. In compliance with a "snapback" plan, sanctions may be renewed within 65 days if Iran violates the agreement.

    US national security interests demand that Iran does not have nuclear weaponry, without the agreement with Tehran there would be risk of war in the Middle East, Obama said.

    "Our national security interest now depends upon preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. No deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East," Obama said.

    The US president added that without a deal with Iran "there would be no agreed upon limitations for the Iranian nuclear program" and this would prompt other countries in the region to pursue nuclear programs of their own.

    "No deal means no lasting constraints on Iran nuclear program. Such a scenario would make it more likely that other countries in the region [Middle East] would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear programs," Obama said.

    The US President added he welcomes "a robust debate" in Congress on the matter but will veto "any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal."

    Iran's Nuclear Program Amid Western Sanctions (551)


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