Obama Speech on Iran: Collapse of Nuclear Deal Will Mean War

Thursday, August 6, 2015
By Paul Martin

By Barry Grey
Global Research
August 06, 2015

Defending the nuclear accord reached last month with Tehran, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that congressional blockage of the deal would rapidly lead to war against Iran.

In a chilling passage of the speech delivered at American University in Washington, DC, Obama declared:

“Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any US administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option, another war in the Middle East. I say this not to be provocative, I am stating a fact…

“Does anyone really doubt that the same voices now raised against this deal will be demanding that whoever is president bomb those nuclear facilities?… So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.”

These words were the centerpiece of an address aimed at recruiting a sufficient number of Democratic congressmen and senators to sustain a presidential veto against a virtually certain vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to scuttle the agreement when Congress returns from its summer recess on September 8.

Obama’s speech was an exercise in hypocrisy and deceit. The agreement reached last month between Iran and the so-called P5 + 1 (US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) provides for the suspension of the most onerous sanctions against Tehran in exchange for sweeping concessions by Iran, including acceptance of an inspection regime over the country’s civilian nuclear program of historically unprecedented intrusiveness. It also includes a so-called “snap back” provision that allows Washington to claim that Iran is in breech of the agreement and quickly reimpose sanctions, including an oil embargo, that have devastated the country’s economy.

Obama framed his response to opponents of the deal, including virtually all Republican members of Congress, a section of Democrats, the Israeli government and influential pro-Israel organizations in the US, and media organizations headed by the Wall Street Journal, as a commitment to diplomacy and the peaceful resolution of international disputes, in opposition to war hawks who demand unilateral US military action. He began by invoking the 1963 speech by President John F. Kennedy delivered at the same university, in which Kennedy called for a nuclear test ban treaty and a policy of peaceful diplomacy with the Soviet Union.

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