President Obama at American University | The Iran Deal

President Obama at American University | The Iran Deal

October 18, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


Applause. Thank you. Just to be here its truly an honor. It got me really excited to start grad school in the next upcoming month.
The first class I’m going to be taking is public diplomacy. After two years of negotiations
we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining
a nuclear weapon. One of the reasons why it is so special is because the class that I’m
enrolled in now, global governance, is discussing all of these issues. A number of critics say
“the deal isn’t worth it.” But how can we in good conscience justify war before we have
tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objective? That has been agreed to by
Iran. That is supported by the rest of the world. And that preserves our options if the
deal falls short. I look at it and I think you know, what’s gonna happen within the next
couple of years when a new president comes in and they want to pull it out or Iran decides
something different? What’s gonna happen? What’s put in place to make sure that nothing
else happens? President Kennedy warned Americans not to see conflict as inevitable. Accommodation
as impossible. And communication as nothing more than the exchange of threats. It is time
to apply such wisdom. The deal before us doesn’t bet on Iran changing. It doesn’t require trust.
It verifies and requires Iran to forsake a nuclear weapon. Just as we struck agreements
with the Soviet Union at a time when they were threatening our allies, arming proxies
against us, proclaiming their commitment to destroy our way of life, and had nuclear weapons
pointed at all of our major cities. It’s easier to instill fear in people, but I think it’s
harder to help people build the courage to strive for peace. And I think President Kennedy
helped like instill that courage in people here 50 years ago. And I think that’s what
President Obama is trying to do now. John F. Kennedy cautioned here more than 50 years
ago at this university that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of
war. But it’s so very important. It is surely the pursuit of peace that is most needed in
this world so full of strife.