President Obama touts Iran deal as win for 'smart' diplomacy

President Barack Obama on Sunday heralded the release of Americans held prisoner in Iran and the full implementation of a historic nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic, holding both up as victories

News 12 Staff

Jan 17, 2016, 9:30 PM

Updated 3,010 days ago

Share:

President Obama touts Iran deal as win for 'smart' diplomacy
President Barack Obama on Sunday heralded the release of Americans held prisoner in Iran and the full implementation of a historic nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic, holding both up as victories for "smart" diplomacy and his pledge to deal directly with enemies of the United States.
"This is a good day," Obama said in a statement from the White House. "When Americans are freed and returned to their families, that's something we can all celebrate."
The president spoke at the close of an extraordinary weekend of diplomacy that saw the back-to-back release of the five Americans and the lifting of billions in international sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear accord.
Yet underscoring the strain that continues to exist between the U.S. and Iran, the Obama administration also announced new penalties Sunday on 11 individuals and entities involved in Tehran's ballistic missile program.
"We will continue to enforce these sanctions vigorously," Obama said. "We are going to remain vigilant about it."
For Obama, the diplomatic breakthroughs are a validation of his early promises to deal directly with nations such as Iran. The U.S. and Iran broke off diplomatic relations after the 1979 hostage-taking of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
"America can do - and has done - big things when we work together," Obama said. "We can lead this world and make it safer and more secure."
The nuclear talks have brought a sense of normalcy to relations with the U.S. and Iran, with top officials from each country in somewhat regular communication. But Obama emphasized that the U.S. continues to have deep concerns about Iran's destabilizing actions in the Middle East and its threats to Israel.
Obama spoke shortly after the Americans began their journey home. A charter plane left Tehran for Switzerland with the Americans - all four who had been detained, according to Iran state television, or only three, the U.S. said - as part of a prisoner swap.
Within hours of their release, the U.S. imposed sanctions against those involved in Iran's ballistic missile program as a result of Tehran's firing of a medium-range ballistic missile.



U.N. experts said in a report in December that the missile test in October violated sanctions banning Iran from launches capable of delivering nuclear weapons.



A U.S. Treasury official said Iran's ballistic missile program poses "a significant threat to regional and global security."
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


More from News 12
1:27
NYPD deploys resources to places of worship amid increased Middle East tensions

NYPD deploys resources to places of worship amid increased Middle East tensions

1:47
STORM WATCH: Scattered strong storms overnight in New York City

STORM WATCH: Scattered strong storms overnight in New York City

1:40
Demonstrators outside Kings Plaza Mall push for changes to immigration policy

Demonstrators outside Kings Plaza Mall push for changes to immigration policy

0:28
Israel hails success in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack. G7 democracies condemn attack

Israel hails success in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack. G7 democracies condemn attack

1:17
Brooklyn Children’s Museum hosts ‘Celebrate Eid al-Fitr’ festival

Brooklyn Children’s Museum hosts ‘Celebrate Eid al-Fitr’ festival

0:25
Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

Police: Man who punched 9-year-old girl at Grand Central Terminal arrested

2:05
Community advocates say they'll call for changes in aftermath of NYPD's decision in Kawaski Trawick case

Community advocates say they'll call for changes in aftermath of NYPD's decision in Kawaski Trawick case

2:39
‘A very dangerous time.’ NYC synagogues and Jewish organizations on high alert after Iran attack

‘A very dangerous time.’ NYC synagogues and Jewish organizations on high alert after Iran attack

0:43
NYPD: Victims identified, arrest made in Fordham crash that killed 2

NYPD: Victims identified, arrest made in Fordham crash that killed 2

0:58
Police: 3 New York City residents arrested for organized retail theft at New Jersey mall

Police: 3 New York City residents arrested for organized retail theft at New Jersey mall

2:04
CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

CDC: Most women do not get a mammogram because of financial difficulties

1:39
What you need to know about this weekend's L train closure

What you need to know about this weekend's L train closure

1:49
DOT issues traffic advisory amid partial closure of Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

DOT issues traffic advisory amid partial closure of Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

0:25
Police: Suspect wanted for shooting man in face in Bed-Stuy

Police: Suspect wanted for shooting man in face in Bed-Stuy

1:38
Community baby shower in Brownsville aims to help underprivileged moms

Community baby shower in Brownsville aims to help underprivileged moms

1:41
Street vendors on Fordham Road say rise in summonses is making it difficult to make a living

Street vendors on Fordham Road say rise in summonses is making it difficult to make a living

0:51
Large portion of BQE closed due to repairs this weekend

Large portion of BQE closed due to repairs this weekend

1:32
NYPD: Crash in Fordham leaves 2 men dead

NYPD: Crash in Fordham leaves 2 men dead

1:35
CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

CDC: Measles could lose 'elimination status' amid uptick across the U.S.

1:17
Family celebrates life of daughter who was fatally struck by train

Family celebrates life of daughter who was fatally struck by train