WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama heralded a historic nuclear agreement with Iran Tuesday as an opportunity for the longtime foes to move in a ‘‘new direction,’’ while sharply warning Congress that it would be irresponsible to block the accord.
‘‘No deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,’’ Obama said in early morning remarks from the White House.
Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, spoke shortly after negotiators in Vienna announced the landmark deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade in exchange for billions of dollars in international sanctions relief. The president said the agreement, hammered out through nearly two years of negotiations, would cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and give the international community unprecedented access to the country’s nuclear facilities.
‘‘This deal is not built on trust,’’ Obama said. ‘‘It is built on verification.’’
For Obama, the accord marks the fulfillment of one of his top foreign policy goals and will be cast by the White House as a validation of the president’s focus on seeking resolutions through diplomacy. The president staked enormous political capital on the diplomatic pursuit with Iran, deeply straining relations with Israel and sparking outrage from some congressional lawmakers.
It will likely be well after Obama has left the White House before it is known whether the deal succeeds in preventing Iran from building a bomb. Critics say Iran cannot be trusted even with the lower levels of nuclear technology it will be allowed to retain under the terms of the agreement.
With the deal between the world powers now finalized, Congress has 60 days to assess the accord and decide whether to pursue legislation imposing new sanctions on Iran or prevent Obama from suspending existing ones.
The president renewed his vow to veto any such legislation and urged lawmakers to consider the repercussions of their actions. He painted a grim scenario in which the rest of the world struck its own nuclear deals with Iran, leaving the U.S. isolated. And without the limitations and verifications included in the deal announced Tuesday, Obama said he or a future U.S. president would be more likely to face a decision about using U.S. military action to prevent Iran from building a bomb.
The White House was expected to quickly launch a campaign to win support for the deal on Capitol Hill. The president was also expected to speak with several world leaders Tuesday.
Obama acknowledged Tuesday that the U.S. and Iran remain at odds over many issues, including Tehran’s support for terrorism in the Middle East and its detention of several American citizens. Still, he suggested a breakthrough on the nuclear issue could pave the way for a broader shift in relations between the U.S. and Iran.
‘‘This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction,’’ Obama said. ‘‘We should seize it.’’
Our country’s governing document makes good on the promise that no one is above the law.Continue reading »
Arguing heatedly in public with Democratic leaders, President Trump threatened repeatedly to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t provide the money he says is needed to build a wall at the Mexican border.Continue reading »
When they arrived at the Dominican resort, they were told they owed almost $10,000 more upfront for food and drink and could not check in until they paid up.Continue reading »
New Census data also show where Massachusetts counties rank nationally in terms of median household income.Continue reading »
From President Trump saying he would be “proud” to see a government shutdown to Nancy Pelosi accusing Trump of misrepresenting facts, here’s a look at the most contentious exchanges.Continue reading »
Neverett said Tuesday that he chose to let his contract run out rather than continue to work for flagship station WEEI.Continue reading »
The switch will mark the fifth leadership change at the T under Governor Charlie Baker.Continue reading »
Readers helped out as we tried to determine if that was the worst regular-season loss in Boston sports history.Continue reading »
Transit officials are reminding commuters to “use sound judgment” and think of other riders.Continue reading »