Obama’s statement on Iran deal withdrawal

The Iran nuclear deal was done under Barack Obama’s presidency. It was strongly criticised and opposed by Donald Trump, who has just withdrawn the US from the deal.

Obama has made a statement in response.


There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.

The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.

That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.

Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts about the JCPOA.

First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal, unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and achieved real results.

Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored. International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this monitoring and inspections regime would go away.

Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.

Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior – including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its neighbors. But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior – and to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the JCPOA, and weakened without it.

Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake. Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it.

In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.

54 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  May 9, 2018

    Trump’s & Netanyahoo’s lies exposed.

  2. MaureenW

     /  May 9, 2018

    Obama who?

    • Gezza

       /  May 9, 2018

      John Key’s well-off golfing buddy. The one he conned the Air NZ board into paying for to come to NZ & play a few rounds & piss off again.

  3. MaureenW

     /  May 9, 2018

    What twaddle from Obama – same Obama who destroyed Libya. Who was Libya a threat to again?

    • Gezza

       /  May 9, 2018

      I’m not sure he destroyed Libya. They seem to be still happily destroying themselves.

      • MaureenW

         /  May 9, 2018

        No, he and Clinton destroyed Libya.

        • Gezza

           /  May 9, 2018

          Is this what Trump says, or something?

          • Blazer

             /  May 9, 2018

            Gaddaffi promoted a pan African bank,selling oil with the Gold Dinar.
            He had to…go!

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              Well, it’s not a bad idea. Actually the US generally seems to have destabilised the whole area over the past 50 years. Why are they even involved in the place? It’s probably about time they were put under sanctions. Is it possible for the rest of the world to dispense with trade with America? What have they got that can’t be obtained from other countries? Most of anything useful can be ripped off & reverse engineered can’t it?

            • David

               /  May 9, 2018

              “What have they got that can’t be obtained from other countries? ”

              The internet.

              “Most of anything useful can be ripped off & reverse engineered can’t it?”

              That’s the Chinese policy.

        • MaureenW

           /  May 9, 2018

          No, it’s what happened. It’s a base for slave trading now – go and see for yourself

          • Gezza

             /  May 9, 2018

            Well, I know it’s a been a base for slave trading now but they’re Arabs. Pretty backward lot. I don’t think Clinton & Obama are involved in the slave trading thing. Happy to revise my opinion on that if you can post any links?

        • Patzcuaro

           /  May 9, 2018

          @MaureenW, if Obama and Clinton destroyed Libya, then George W Bush with the help of Tony Blair destroyed Iraq leading to ISIS getting a foot hold in the ensuing power vacuum. The Syrian seem to be doing a good job of self destructing with the help of the US, Russia & Iran.

          George W Bush failed to read the history books and tried like the British and Russia to subdue Afghanistan and achieve little. If he wanted Osama bin Laden all he had to do was ask his allies in Pakistan where he was eventually found.

          Let’s not forget the old warhorse Dick Cheney he must have left his finger prints on the Middle East.

          • MaureenW

             /  May 9, 2018

            Agree with all of that except for Syria who had a foreign funded uprising against Bashir. Don’t think they were self- destructing before that. Also you left out Egypt and Tunisia

  4. Not before time. Under it’s despotic, ideologically deranged rule the Iran leadersip have no morals remotely in sync with the West or it’s aims. However the appeasers Kerry and Obama decided to tell us they accepted that Tehran would eliminate its stockpile of enriched uranium .

    However, no surprise to the even slightly cyncical history student, their billions in cash in hand, all they did was move its programme to a secret location in a bid to hide it from the world.

    Trump needs a tick for this.

    • Blazer

       /  May 9, 2018

      you have travelled widely…have you been to Iran?
      do you know much of Iran’s history?
      do you know much of its political history since WW2
      what sources do you rely on to make this statement-‘. Under it’s despotic, ideologically deranged rule ‘

    • Gezza

       /  May 9, 2018

      Where is this secret location & how come nobody else knows about it? Is this like the secret locations the US told us about that Saddam had that never existed, which truthful people were saying, & that ulimately caused the whole region to be destabilised & the rest of the world to end up paying for two wars still going on that the Republicans started?

  5. MaureenW

     /  May 9, 2018

    I’m surprised Barry even has time to poke his head out of his destroy-Trump war-room to even comment.

    • Gezza

       /  May 9, 2018

      I think he’s generally been fairly quiet. I don’t see what’s wrong with him correcting Trump’s lies? You think US Presidents telling blatant lies is ok?

      • MaureenW

         /  May 9, 2018

        Quiet running his shadow-government operation

        • Gezza

           /  May 9, 2018

          A few minutes back, further up, you couldn’t even remember who he was. Now you’re having some sort of vision of him beavering away in a secret location, like some classic James Bond villain, setting up a shadow-government operation? You haven’t had a recent medication change, have you?

          • Gezza

             /  May 9, 2018

            Hang on, I’ll have a look.

          • Gezza

             /  May 9, 2018

            That’s about John Kerry trying to persuade folk to honour the deal. Not about Obama setting up a shadow government. If it’s not medication causing your confusion, are you maybe short on sleep?

            • MaureenW

               /  May 9, 2018

              And what is Kerry’s role in all of this again Gezza?

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              Kerry’s not even mentioned in that last link Maureen?

            • MaureenW

               /  May 9, 2018

              I didn’t say he was mentioned in the last link – I asked what Kerry’s role is in trying to “save” the Iran deal?

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              Well obviously he’s trying to save the deal under which Iran agreed never to try & build a nuclear bomb & the Iranian people would get access to medical supplies & finance & equipment & out of the other shortages its people were being subjected to. I think it’s quite important to point out to the world & to Iran that Trump is blatantly lying when he says they didn’t honour the deal, so that they don’t consider the whole of the US Congress to be prepared to accept lies & breaches of agreements as well. But that doesn’t mean he’s involved in setting up some sort of secret alternative government. Anyway, it’s a lost cause because Trump’s now knowingly lied about it & used Netanyahoo’s lies as the justication for breaching a multilateral agreement. But he does that because of his Amerika Uber Alles philosophy anyway.

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              I think he might be Jewish, & he’s blatantly siding with Israel & Saudi Arabia. A lot of that is “reports” & speculation & we already know Bibi used a children’s-style presentation to lie to Trump. Even Mattis is reported to have said Iran is meeting its obligations under the deal. I’ll stop here Maureen because I’m getting bored with this. Will be interesting to see what happens next.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 9, 2018

              Maureen’s link confirms Obama is lying about the scope of inspections.

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              Trump and his associates have more form for lying than the rest of the signatories to the deal Alan. Obama might be a tosser but you’re another hopeless Trumpophile, so I tend to discount your views as you only ever find & push Trump supporters’ opinions.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 9, 2018

              Judging by the blatant fudging of the last item in that Fact Check it is not objective or truthful.

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              Neither is Trump.

            • MaureenW

               /  May 9, 2018

              @ Gezza, when you’re next watching AlJaz, see if you can find out what John Kerry’s role is under the present Administration? They’ll be sure to know.

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              I’ll see what time their next 1hour news segment is Maureen. I don’t think they’ll be much concerned about Kerry. But they might have some balanced & informed commentary & opinion on what’s happening & the facts & the ramifications. This Kerry Obama obsession of yours may be an indication of something not quite right with your diet or something. Maybe see a professional at your earliest opportunity? Just thinking of your wellbeing.

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              It’s at 2 pm. No good to me then. I’ll to see if I can catch a 30 minute news seg at 4.00, otherwise I’ll have to wait till 10 pm for a full news hour again.

            • MaureenW

               /  May 9, 2018

              Lol, I’ll give you an uptick for your paltry comment, I know it matters and no-one else will. Not obsessed with Kerry Obama, just find it odd they are making foreign visitations, appearances and statements regarding the US and it’s foreign policies from a zero platform.
              Suggesting anyone who doesn’t share your views is in need of professional help, says more about you than me, but thanks for caring:)

              https://mediaequalizer.com/kyleeidson/2017/12/obamas-meddling-in-foreign-affairs-could-be-violation-of-logan-act

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              Suggesting anyone who doesn’t share your views is in need of professional help, says more about you than me, but thanks for caring:)
              It’s just a phase I’m going thru 😉

            • Mefrostate

               /  May 9, 2018

              @Alan please point out the exact inaccuracy in the final point of the Stuff fact check.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 9, 2018

              the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently stated that it could not verify that Iran was “fully implementing the agreement” by not engaging in activities that would allow it to make a nuclear explosive device. Yukiya Amano of the IAEA told Reuters that when it comes to inspections, which are stipulated in Section T of the agreement, “our tools are limited.” Amano continued to say: “In other sections, for example, Iran has committed to submit declarations, place their activities under safeguards or ensure access by us. But in Section T, I don’t see any (such commitment).”

              It is well established that Tehran has consistently denied IAEA inspectors access to military sites and other research locations. This is in direct contravention to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and bipartisan legislation set out by Congress, which compels the president to verify that “Iran is transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement.” Yet, according to the Institute for Science and International Security, as of the last quarterly report released in August, the IAEA had not visited any military site in Iran since implementation day.

              Trump was exactly correct. The “Fact Check” avoided saying so and tried to imply the inspections had been thorough.

            • Griff

               /  May 9, 2018

              Quiet running his shadow-government operation

              You dont think you need help .
              Conspiracy nutters never do.

            • MaureenW

               /  May 9, 2018

              Whatever Griff. They have something in the USA called the Logan Act which is meant to prevent people from engaging in foreign policy activities without the explicit approval of the current President.

            • Mefrostate

               /  May 9, 2018

              Rubbish, Alan. The fact check does exactly what it says on the tin: checks the facts.

              Trump’s first statement is normative per the word “adequate”, and therefore cannot possibly be fact checked.

              Trump’s second statement is descriptive, and therefore can be fact checked. So the fact check does explore whether the IAEA has unfettered access, finds that they don’t, and confirms the accuracy of Trump’s second statement.

              Literally exactly what a fact check should do.

              You’re just trying to paint it as unobjective and untruthful because it points out inaccuracies in Trump’s rhetoric, and you’re duty-bound to defend his honour simply because you think he’s on your ‘side’.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 9, 2018

              Rubbish yourself, Mefro. The “Fact Check” focuses on what the inspectors can do and have done, not what they can’t do and whether in fact they can detect and prevent further development of nuclear weapons – which is the simple definition of Trump’s “adequate” that is apparently too difficult for you to grasp.

              It’s as fatuous as it’s previous “fact check” that currently Iran has no missiles capable of reaching the US. Of course that wasn’t Trump’s claim and the example of North Korea shows how that might change.

              I’ve no interest whatever in defending Trump’s honour, merely in ferreting out truths behind slanted reporting and errors of omission.

            • Mefrostate

               /  May 9, 2018

              “The “Fact Check” focuses on what the inspectors can do and have done, not what they can’t do

              Completely false.

              Trump says “Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect and punish cheating. And don’t even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities.”

              There is nothing at all in that quote about what the inspectors have done, it’s specifically on the subject of what they can & can’t do.

              “and whether in fact they can detect and prevent further development of nuclear weapons – which is the simple definition of Trump’s “adequate” that is apparently too difficult for you to grasp.”

              More rubbish. Adequate is completely subjective. The inspectors could have unrestricted access to every building in Iran and someone could still describe that as inadequate. Because it’s a subjective opinion.

              “It’s as fatuous as it’s previous “fact check” that currently Iran has no missiles capable of reaching the US. Of course that wasn’t Trump’s claim and the example of North Korea shows how that might change.”

              Nice try, but I’m not interested in expanding the discussion to this point. I don’t want us to get distracted from the fact that your initial attack on the fact check was completely toothless.

              “I’ve no interest whatever in defending Trump’s honour, merely in ferreting out truths behind slanted reporting and errors of omission.”

              Yet for some reason your pure & honest quest for truth only ever involves attacking those who criticise Trump or the right.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 9, 2018

              You are a serial bull-shitter, Mefro. I’ll leave you to it.

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              The world’s current most famous, most well-documented serial bullshitter is Trump, Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 9, 2018

              Probably, G. But at least he is often entertaining.

            • Gezza

               /  May 9, 2018

              Yes. So Stormy says. 😀

          • Mefrostate

             /  May 9, 2018

            Always fun to point out your nonsense and have you bow out politely, Alan. Have a nice evening.

  6. duperez

     /  May 9, 2018

    Chris Trotter on “What Has Trump Just Done?”

    “The rest of the world, however, will pay a very high price if it opts to appease the United States and its President. Global capitalism cannot operate in a world where goods and services cannot flow freely across borders. If it allows the US to impose economic sanctions (a power formerly reserved to the UN Security Council) upon any nation state it deems to be an enemy and enforces those sanctions in defiance of international trade agreements (not to mention international law!) then the globalised capitalist economic order will fall apart.”

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/05/09/what-has-trump-just-done/