- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 14, 2015

President Obama said Tuesday the historic deal will prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons and defended its provisions for verifying Tehran’s compliance.

“Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” Mr. Obama said in an early-morning address at the White House. “This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.”

The president said the lack of an agreement would lead to a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East. He asked Congress, which will have 60 days to review the agreement, to “consider what happens in a world without” the deal.

SEE ALSO: Landmark nuclear agreement sparks celebrations in Iran, alarm in Israel

“We give nothing up by testing whether this problem can be solved peacefully,” Mr. Obama said. “No deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East. No deal means no lasting constraints on Iran’s nuclear program. The world will not support an effort to permanently sanction Iran into submission.”

The president said the agreement “demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change.”

“We have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shown trampling on Israeli flag

Mr. Obama said he welcomed “robust debate” by lawmakers over the deal, but he vowed to veto any effort to unravel the agreement.

“I will remind Congress that you don’t make deals like this with your friends,” Mr. Obama said. “I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies. So I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.”

The president cautioned lawmakers not to engage in a reckless escalation of rhetoric against Iran.

“We do not have to accept an inevitable spiral into conflict, and we certainly shouldn’t seek it,” Mr. Obama said. “Precisely because the stakes are so high, this is not the time for politics or posturing. Tough talk from Washington does not solve problems. Hard-nosed diplomacy, leadership that has united the world’s major powers, offers a more effective way to verify that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon.”

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