At the height of the Cold War, with Soviet warheads pointed at all of America’s major cities, President Kennedy rejected calls to hasten a confrontation many saw as inevitable. He argued instead that strong and principled American leadership was the surest path to a peace “based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions – on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements.” And for decades, Democratic and Republican presidents alike built on this foundation, forging arms control agreements and other international treaties, and ultimately winning the Cold War without firing a shot at the Soviets.
In that tradition of strong, principled diplomacy, my administration has sought to remove one of the greatest threats facing our world today: the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. After two years of negotiations, we have achieved an arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off every one of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and provides the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program.