Nov. 24 - U.S. President Barack Obama hails the agreement reached between the six major powers and Iran over its nuclear program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
President Barack Obama said on Saturday (November 23) that a deal between Iran and six major powers was an important first step towards a comprehensive solution to Iran's nuclear programme. The accord was designed as a package of confidence-building steps to ease decades of tensions and confrontation and banish the spectre of a Middle East war over Tehran's nuclear aspirations. The West fears that Iran has been seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Obama addressed the objections Israel and other Middle East nations had towards a deal with Iran. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT, SAYING: "As we go forward, the resolve of the United States will remain firm, as will our commitment to our friends and allies - particularly Israel and our Gulf partners, who have good reason to be skeptical about Iran's intentions. Ultimately, only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenge posed by Iran's nuclear program. As President and Commander in Chief, I will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. However, I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush towards conflict. Today, we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement, and I believe we must test it." Israel, thought to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a mortal threat and wants its uranium enrichment capabilities dismantled and its enriched uranium removed.