President Obama marked the one-year anniversary of the Iranian nuclear deal Monday by warning Americans — chief among them President-elect Donald Trump — that unraveling the agreement would bring “much worse” consequences.
“The Iran deal must be measured against the alternatives,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “A diplomatic resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is far preferable to an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program or another war in the Middle East.”
He added, “The United States must remember that this agreement was the result of years of work, and represents an agreement between the world’s major powers — not simply the United States and Iran.”
Russia, China, Germany, France, Great Britain and the European Union also are parties to the agreement.
Mr. Obama is leaving office at noon Friday, when Republican Donald Trump will take the oath of office.
Mr. Trump has said he wants to renegotiate the deal, which lifted international sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limiting Iran’s nuclear program. Critics say the Obama administration’s deal won’t stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
While Iran continues to sponsor terrorism, threaten Israel and imprison Americans unjustly, Mr. Obama said, “the challenges we face with Iran would be much worse if Iran were also on the threshold of building a nuclear weapon.”
Mr. Obama said the agreement “has rolled back the Iranian nuclear program and verifiably prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
“Iran reduced its uranium stockpile by 98 percent and removed two-thirds of its centrifuges,” he said. “Meanwhile, Iran has not enriched any uranium at the Fordow facility nor used advanced centrifuges to enrich. In short, Iran is upholding its commitments, demonstrating the success of diplomacy.”