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

Story highlights

  • 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

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.