Skip to main content

Obama on Iran: U.S. cannot 'close the door' on diplomacy

By Kevin Liptak, CNN White House Producer
updated 3:45 PM EST, Mon November 25, 2013
  • Obama defends temporary deal reached with world powers that limits Iran nuke program
  • He says the "tough talk and bluster" of critics is not the "right thing" for U.S. security

San Francisco (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Monday cast this weekend's historic deal with Iran as part of a larger foreign policy agenda he said affirmed his 2008 campaign promises.

Citing his vows to end wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to unfreeze U.S.-Iran relations, Obama said he has "done what I said."

He also said the ongoing diplomatic effort to turn Syria's chemical weapons over to international control illustrated positions that put greater weight on diplomacy than on force alone.

"We cannot close the door on diplomacy," Obama said at the start of remarks dedicated to pushing immigration reform. "We cannot commit ourselves to an endless cycle of conflict."

Obama was speaking in San Francisco where he was on a political fund-raising swing.

Taking a shot at defense hawks who have criticized the six-month Iran deal reached with the United States and other world powers, Obama said "tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it's not the right thing to do for our security."

The accord with Iran would reduce some sanctions on the regime in return for Tehran stalling parts of its nuclear enrichment.

Part of complete coverage on
Iran nuclear deal
updated 5:40 AM EST, Thu December 26, 2013
Iranian lawmakers have drafted a bill that would force the government to enrich uranium up to 60% if new sanctions are imposed.
updated 4:31 PM EST, Sun November 24, 2013
Diplomats made history when Iran and six world powers came together on an agreement over Iran's nuclear program.
updated 11:35 AM EST, Sun November 24, 2013
The White House issued a detailed synopsis, or "fact sheet," of the six-month deal regarding Iran's nuclear program.
updated 9:45 PM EST, Sun November 24, 2013
A quick primer to get you up to speed on where we are and how we got there.
updated 8:37 AM EST, Mon November 25, 2013
The deal struck at the weekend is a step forward in the budding rapprochement between Iran and the U.S.
updated 10:59 AM EST, Mon November 25, 2013
While the EU and the U.St. cheered a deal that world powers reached with Tehran over its nuclear ambitions, Israel was fierce in its criticism.
updated 11:38 AM EST, Sun November 24, 2013
These are troubled times for President Barack Obama.
updated 11:19 PM EST, Sat November 23, 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama vows to "ratchet up the pressure" if Iran violates the nuclear deal.
updated 11:26 PM EST, Sat November 23, 2013
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he hopes deal with improve Iran's relations with Western powers.
updated 8:51 AM EST, Sun November 24, 2013
Click through our gallery for an overview of how enriched uranium is made.
More than two dozen countries have nuclear power, but only a few have nuclear weapons or are suspected of pursuing nuclear weapons.
updated 11:19 AM EST, Tue November 19, 2013
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey as well as Israel all fear Iran gaining nuclear status, writes Barak Seener.
updated 7:04 PM EST, Sat November 16, 2013
Russia's foreign minister says the opportunity to bring about an end to a decade-long standoff is one that must not be passed up.