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Tipsheet

Obama: "This Deal Makes Our Country and the World Safer"

The United States and its allies’ nuclear agreement with Iran is a grave misstep, according to virtually every Republican candidate running for president and perhaps some Democrats. They contend that the deal is flawed in at least two respects. First, investigators will not be given unfettered access to Iran’s civilian and military nuclear facilities. This makes it extraordinarily difficult to verify that Iran isn’t, in fact, building a nuclear bomb. And second, economy-crushing sanctions will eventually be lifted, as will the contentious arms/ballistic missile embargo. This in turn will give the regime more money — and weapons — to wreak havoc on the world. Guy, for his part, also analyzed the fine print of the accord, calling it dangerous and an “epic victory” for the world’s greatest exporter of global terrorism.

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Today at the White House, however, the president spoke about the contentious agreement, arguing that Americans should be thankful that a deal was finally brokered. Without it, he insisted, the world would be less stable and safe.

“The bottom line is this,” he intoned. “This nuclear deal meets the national security interests of the United States and our allies. It prevents the most serious threat: Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon, which would only make the other problems that Iran may cause even worse. That’s why this deal makes our country and the world safer and more secure.”

“It’s why the alternative — no limits on Iran’s nuclear program, no inspections, an Iran that’s closer to a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear arms race, and the greater risk of war — would endanger our security," he continued. "That’s the choice that we face. If we don’t choose wisely, I believe future generations will judge us harshly for letting this moment slip away.”

He later re-emphasized this point during the Q&A session.

“For all the objections of Prime Minister Netanyahu — or for that matter, some of the Republican leadership that’s already spoken — none of them have presented to me or the American people a better alternative,” he said. “I’m hearing a lot of talking points being repeated.”

Talking points, however, are not facts, he declared. He therefore urged critics of the bill to actually read it first before criticizing it, while repeating over and over again that this was the best deal an American president has ever negotiated with the Iranians vis-à-vis its nuclear program. Why? Because at the end of the day, it will slow Iran's path to the bomb over the next decade, period. In other words, while not a perfect deal, it is a positive step forward — and an historic breakthrough — in US-Iranian relations.

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Finally, and most interestingly, he criticized the tone of a reporter’s question who suggested that the president was “content” that the preliminary deal was completed, even though four Americans imprisoned in Iran will not be released as part of the agreement.

Notably, he did not address when, or if, they ever will be.

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