Statements Made by Administration Officials and P5+1 Members

Statements Made by Administration Officials and P5+1 Members

September 16, 2015 —

Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin, U.S. Department of the Treasury

“[T]he JCPOA is a strong deal…the deal is not based on trust but on verification and on scrutiny. We need to neutralize this near-term threat, and in this agreement we have. Enforcing the JCPOA, though, making sure that Iran remains in compliance, will be among my highest priorities. And combating Tehran’s other destabilizing activities will be a continuing focus for my office…in the weeks and months to come. And I personally will be spending a great deal of my time and energy on that issue. Across all of our efforts, we will remain vigilant and serious in enforcing our laws. This situation demands no less.”

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September 10, 2015 –

President Barack Obama in response to Senate Democrats blocking a Republican resolution of disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal from going to a final vote.

“This vote is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world. I am heartened that so many senators judged this deal on the merits, and am gratified by the strong support of lawmakers and citizens alike.”

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August 18, 2015 —

President Barack Obama

“In that tradition of strong, principled diplomacy, my administration has sought to remove one of the greatest threats facing our world today: the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. After two years of negotiations, we have achieved an arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off every one of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and provides the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program.”

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August 5, 2015 — 

President Barack Obama

“As Americans, we should be proud of this achievement. And as members of Congress reflect on their pending decision, I urge them to set aside political concerns, shut out the noise, consider the stakes involved with the vote that you will cast. If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear deal or the sanctions we have painstakingly built. We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy. America’s credibility is the anchor of the international system.”

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July 22, 2015—

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz wrote an Op-Ed explaining the reasons for the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“When President Obama took office, he faced an Iran that had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle, had constructed a covert uranium enrichment facility inside a mountain, was on its way to installing nearly 20,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, was developing advanced centrifuges and was building a heavy-water reactor that could produce weapons-grade plutonium. If Iran wanted to develop a nuclear weapon, it was already well down that road and the international community had little insight into its program. Against this backdrop the president vowed never to let Iran obtain a nuclear weapon.”

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April 2, 2015 –

U.S. President Barack Obama made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Over a year ago, we took the first step towards today’s framework with a deal to stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and roll it back in key areas.  And recall that at the time, skeptics argued that Iran would cheat, and that we could not verify their compliance and the interim agreement would fail. Instead, it has succeeded exactly as intended.  Iran has met all of its obligations.  It eliminated its stockpile of dangerous nuclear material.  Inspections of Iran’s program increased.  And we continued negotiations to see if we could achieve a more comprehensive deal.”

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“We still have a lot of work to do.  We have agreed on the most challenging and overarching issues, but now there are a number of technical decisions that need to be made, and there are still policy decisions that have to be made.  But we have the outline; we have the basic framing, if you will – the construction. And as we continue on, the United States and our P5+1 partners will exhibit the same vigilance, the same unity of purpose, the same comprehensive approach, and the same good faith among us that has brought us this far.”

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Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“From the outset of this Administration, President Obama has made preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon a national security priority of the highest order.  To address this threat, we have worked together with Congress and our international partners to establish and implement the most comprehensive set of economic sanctions in history.  These sanctions helped bring Iran to the negotiating table to engage in serious diplomacy to address the world’s concerns about its nuclear program.

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March 31, 2015  

White House spokesman Josh Earnest made the following statement:

“If they’re unwilling to make those kinds of commitments that give us that assurance — and by us I mean not just the United States, I mean the international community — then we’ll have to walk away from the negotiating table and consider what other options may be available to us, and there is certainly the possibility that that could happen.”

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White House Spokeswoman Marie Harf made the following statement regarding continuing negotiations with Iran past the March 31st deadline:

“We’ve made enough progress in the last days to merit staying until Wednesday.”

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March 30, 2015 –

Secretary of State John Kerry made the following statement regarding the progress of negotiations with Iran preceding the March 31st deadline:

“We are working very hard to work those through. We are working late into the night and obviously into tomorrow. We are working with a view to get something done. There is a little more light there today, but there are still some tricky issues. Everyone knows the meaning of tomorrow. ”

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White House Spokesman Eric Schultz made the following statement regarding the March deadline for a political framework agreement with Iran::

“I’m not going to presuppose failure. Those negotiations are going to go down to the wire,”

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March 24, 2015 –

White House spokesman Josh Earnest made the following statement:

“We would anticipate that Congress would play its rightful role in considering, after Iran has demonstrated sustained compliance with the agreement, a measure that would, down the line, as they described, offer permanent sanctions relief from congressionally mandated sanctions.”

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March 13, 2015 

President Obama made the following statement in regards to the letter drafted and sent to Iran by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR):

“For them to address a letter to the Ayatollah, who they claim is our mortal enemy, and their basic argument to them is, ‘Don’t deal with our president because you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement,’ that’s close to unprecedented,”

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March 9, 2015 

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden released the following statement a GOP letter addressed to the Iranian leadership:

“I served in the United States Senate for thirty-six years. I believe deeply in its traditions, in its value as an institution, and in its indispensable constitutional role in the conduct of our foreign policy. The letter sent on March 9th by forty-seven Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting President in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere. “

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March 4, 2015 

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes made the following statement:

“The purpose of the agreement is not to bet on the notion that Iran will moderate. The purpose of the agreement is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon throughout the duration of the agreement.”
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March 3, 2015 

U.S. President Barack Obama made the following statement:

“We don’t yet have a deal. It may be that Iran cannot say yes to a good deal. I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal than a bad deal. But if we are successful negotiating, then in fact this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Nothing else comes close.”

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March 2, 2015

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice made the following statement:

We must understand what will happen if these negotiations collapse. I know that some argue we should just impose sanctions and walk away. But let’s remember that sanctions have never stopped Iran from advancing its program.”

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February 8, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made the following statement:

“The only chance I can see of an extension at this point in time would be that you really have the outlines of the agreement…But if we’re not able to make the fundamental decisions that have to be made over the course of the next weeks, literally, I think it would be impossible to extend.”

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January 21, 2015 

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the following statement:

“If we’re the reason — through our Congress — that in effect gives Iran and others the excuse not to continue the negotiations, that would be, in my view, a very serious strategic error.”

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Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial IntelligenceDavid Cohen, made the following statement:

“We believe that new sanctions are not needed at this time. To the contrary, new sanctions at this time, even with a delayed trigger, are more likely to undermine, rather than enhance, the chances of achieving a comprehensive agreement.”

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French Foreign Minster Laurent Fabius, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini made the following statement:

“Maintaining pressure on Iran through our existing sanctions is essential. But introducing new hurdles at this critical stage of the negotiations, including through additional nuclear-related sanctions legislation on Iran, would jeopardize our efforts at a critical juncture.”

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January 20, 2015  

U.S. President Barack Obama made the following statement:

“There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.  But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails – alienating America from its allies and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense.”

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January 16, 2015  

UK Prime Minister David Cameron made the following statement:

“It’s the opinion of the United Kingdom that further sanctions, or further threat of sanctions at this point, won’t actually help to bring the talks to a successful conclusion, and they could fracture the international unity.”

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U.S. President Barack Obama made the following statement:

“I am asking Congress to hold off because our negotiators, our partners, those who are most intimately involved in this, assess that it will jeopardize the possibility of resolving a — providing a diplomatic solution to one of the most difficult and long-lasting national security problems that we’ve faced in a very long time.” 

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January 12, 2015  

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Powers, made the following statement:

“Some members of Congress believe that the time has come to ratchet up sanctions on Iran. They argue that this is the most effective way to achieve the goal of getting Iran to give up its nuclear program. We in the administration believe that, at this time, increasing sanctions would dramatically undermine our efforts to reach this shared goal.”

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December 7, 2014 –

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made the following statement:

“Should Iran violate the terms of our agreement, Congress and the administration could immediately impose new sanctions.  And the president has made it clear that he’d be part of that. But now is not the right time to do that.”

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December 2, 2014  

U.S. National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, made the following statement:

“The P5+1 would fracture, the international community would blame the United States rather than Iran for the collapse of the negotiations, and the Iranians would conclude that there’s little point in pursuing this process at the negotiating table.”

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