Obama: I Will Veto Any Legislation That Blocks Iran Nuke Deal
President Barack Obama this morning announced a long-term deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and he pledged to veto any legislation that attempts to block the deal.
“This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework earlier this spring,” he said. “Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off, and the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place.”
Under the deal, Iran will not produce the highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium needed to make a nuclear bomb. The deal calls for removal of two-thirds of Iran’s installed centrifuges and mandates that they’re stored under constant supervision. Obama also explained that the deal would mean that Iran won’t use the centrifuges to produce enriched uranium for the next decade and will have to get rid of 98 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile.
Another significant agreement will allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties, something the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had long vowed to oppose. However, access isn't guaranteed and could be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on as possibly giving Tehran time to cover up any illicit activity.
Under the accord, which runs almost 100 pages, Tehran would have the right to challenge the U.N request and an arbitration board composed of Iran and the six world powers would then decide on the issue. The IAEA also wants the access to complete its long-stymied investigation of past weapons work by Iran, and the U.S. says Iranian cooperation is needed for all economic sanctions to be lifted.
“I believe it would be irresponsible to walk away from this deal,” Obama said.
He also had a message for Congress, which has a 60-day review period to look over the deal’s details and could even hold a vote of disapproval.
“I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal,” he said.