In a much-anticipated speech delineating his foreign policy for the remainder of his term in office, US President Barack Obama said Wednesday that his administration's refocus toward international cooperation provided a new opportunity to resolve tensions over Iran’s nuclear program. While warning that the odds of success are "still long" in getting Iran to give up its nuclear weapons development, he said that "for the first time in a decade, we have a very real chance of achieving a breakthrough agreement."
"Despite frequent warnings from the United States, Israel, and others, the Iranian nuclear program steadily advanced for years," Obama recalled, explaining why his new policy emphasized cooperation rather than unilateral American action. "But at the beginning of my presidency, we built a coalition that imposed sanctions on the Iranian economy, while extending the hand of diplomacy to the Iranian government."
"The odds of success are still long, and we reserve all options to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. But for the first time in a decade, we have a very real chance of achieving a breakthrough agreement – one that is more effective and durable than what would be achieved through the use of force," he argued. "Throughout these negotiations, it has been our willingness to work through multilateral channels that kept the world on our side."