Six World Powers Achieve Iran Nuclear Deal

World Leaders, EU and Iran nuclear framework deal. AP Photo
World Leaders, EU and Iran nuclear framework deal. AP Photo

Iran and EU announce framework for nuclear deal

4/2/15 Bianna Golodryga By Bianna Golodryga – AP

AP) Iran and six world powers have agreed on the outlines of an understanding to limit Iran’s nuclear programs, officials told The Associated Press Thursday. Negotiations continued on a dispute over how much of it to make public.

The officials spoke outside weeklong talks that have been twice extended past the March 31 deadline in an effort to formulate both a general statement of what has been accomplished and documents describing what needs to be done to meet a June 30 deadline for a final accord.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-nuclear-talks-announcement-170259936.html

.

April 02, 2015

Statement by the President on the Framework to Prevent Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon

Rose Garden

2:25 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Today, the United States — together with our allies and partners — has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

As President and Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the security of the American people. And I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final, comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer.

This has been a long time coming. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been advancing its nuclear program for decades. By the time I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges, which can produce the materials for a nuclear bomb — and Iran was concealing a covert nuclear facility. I made clear that we were prepared to resolve this issue diplomatically, but only if Iran came to the table in a serious way. When that did not happen, we rallied the world to impose the toughest sanctions in history — sanctions which had a profound impact on the Iranian economy.

Now, sanctions alone could not stop Iran’s nuclear program. But they did help bring Iran to the negotiating table. Because of our diplomatic efforts, the world stood with us and we were joined at the negotiating table by the world’s major powers — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.

Over a year ago, we took the first step towards today’s framework with a deal to stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and roll it back in key areas. And recall that at the time, skeptics argued that Iran would cheat, and that we could not verify their compliance and the interim agreement would fail. Instead, it has succeeded exactly as intended. Iran has met all of its obligations. It eliminated its stockpile of dangerous nuclear material. Inspections of Iran’s program increased. And we continued negotiations to see if we could achieve a more comprehensive deal.

Today, after many months of tough, principled diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal. And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives. This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/02/statement-president-framework-prevent-iran-obtaining-nuclear-weapon

.

April 02, 2015

Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Below are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland. These elements form the foundation upon which the final text of the JCPOA will be written between now and June 30, and reflect the significant progress that has been made in discussions between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran. Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation, and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We will work to conclude the JCPOA based on these parameters over the coming months.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/02/parameters-joint-comprehensive-plan-action-regarding-islamic-republic-ir

.

April 02, 2015

Readout of the President’s Calls with President Francois Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom

The President spoke separately today with President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom to discuss the political framework reached between the P5+1, the EU, and Iran on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The President thanked the leaders for each country’s important role in negotiating this historic step. The leaders affirmed that while nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the framework represents significant progress towards a lasting, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward.

.

Iran Deal Could Help Regional Security

March 30, 2015 5:51 PM Pamela Dockins – VOAnews

STATE DEPARTMENT—
A State Department spokeswoman says the Arab League decision to create a joint military force that would counter Iranian and Islamic extremist influence in the region is not having a direct impact on Iran nuclear talks.

However, spokeswoman Marie Harf added that a nuclear deal with Iran could help counter Tehran’s “destabilizing action” in the Middle East region.

Harf commented from Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday, where negotiators for Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany are trying to reach a framework understanding for future talks on Tehran’s nuclear status, ahead of a self-imposed Tuesday deadline.

“The fact that the [Middle East] region is facing a number of challenges right now is one of the main reasons why we want to diplomatically prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” said Harf.

For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/iran-deal-could-help-regional-security/2700348.html

Iran Nuclear Deal

 

July 14, 2015

After many months of principled diplomacy, the P5+1 — the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany — along with the European Union, have achieved a long-term comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran that will verifiably prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful going forward.

This deal stands on the foundation of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), achieved in November of 2013, and the framework for this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), announced in Lausanne on April 2, 2015 that set the requirements for the deal with the P5+ 1 and Iran, alongside the European Union announced today.

Learn more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/iran-deal

 

Statement by the President on Iran

State Floor

7:02 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not — a comprehensive, long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change — change that makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure.  This deal is also in line with a tradition of American leadership.  It’s now more than 50 years since President Kennedy stood before the American people and said, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”  He was speaking then about the need for discussions between the United States and the Soviet Union, which led to efforts to restrict the spread of nuclear weapons.

In those days, the risk was a catastrophic nuclear war between two super powers.  In our time, the risk is that nuclear weapons will spread to more and more countries, particularly in the Middle East, the most volatile region in our world.

Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region.  Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.

This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework earlier this spring.  Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off.  And the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place.  Because of this deal, Iran will not produce the highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium that form the raw materials necessary for a nuclear bomb.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/statement-president-iran

 

 

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30 thoughts on “Six World Powers Achieve Iran Nuclear Deal

  1. WH

    Friday, April 3, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:15 PM
    President Obama holds a roundtable on clean energy
    Hill Air Force Base, Utah

    1:00 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks on the economy
    Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah

    1:35 PM
    President Obama departs Utah
    Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:20 PM
    President Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews
    Joint Base Andrews

    5:35 PM
    President Obama arrives White House
    South Lawn

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle mark the beginning of Passover with a Seder at the White House
    Old Family Dining Room

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. Six World Powers Achieve Framework for Iran Nuclear Deal

    Iran and EU announce framework for nuclear deal

    4/2/15 Bianna Golodryga By Bianna Golodryga – AP

    AP) Iran and six world powers have agreed on the outlines of an understanding to limit Iran’s nuclear programs, officials told The Associated Press Thursday. Negotiations continued on a dispute over how much of it to make public.

    The officials spoke outside weeklong talks that have been twice extended past the March 31 deadline in an effort to formulate both a general statement of what has been accomplished and documents describing what needs to be done to meet a June 30 deadline for a final accord.

    A news conference was set for later in the day, when the results of the talks were expected to be announced.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/iran-nuclear-talks-announcement-170259936.html

    • April 02, 2015

      Statement by the President on the Framework to Prevent Iran from Obtaining a Nuclear Weapon

      Rose Garden

      2:25 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Today, the United States — together with our allies and partners — has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

      As President and Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the security of the American people. And I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final, comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer.

      This has been a long time coming. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been advancing its nuclear program for decades. By the time I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges, which can produce the materials for a nuclear bomb — and Iran was concealing a covert nuclear facility. I made clear that we were prepared to resolve this issue diplomatically, but only if Iran came to the table in a serious way. When that did not happen, we rallied the world to impose the toughest sanctions in history — sanctions which had a profound impact on the Iranian economy.

      Now, sanctions alone could not stop Iran’s nuclear program. But they did help bring Iran to the negotiating table. Because of our diplomatic efforts, the world stood with us and we were joined at the negotiating table by the world’s major powers — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.

      Over a year ago, we took the first step towards today’s framework with a deal to stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and roll it back in key areas. And recall that at the time, skeptics argued that Iran would cheat, and that we could not verify their compliance and the interim agreement would fail. Instead, it has succeeded exactly as intended. Iran has met all of its obligations. It eliminated its stockpile of dangerous nuclear material. Inspections of Iran’s program increased. And we continued negotiations to see if we could achieve a more comprehensive deal.

      Today, after many months of tough, principled diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal. And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives. This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/02/statement-president-framework-prevent-iran-obtaining-nuclear-weapon

    • April 02, 2015

      Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

      Below are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland. These elements form the foundation upon which the final text of the JCPOA will be written between now and June 30, and reflect the significant progress that has been made in discussions between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran. Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation, and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We will work to conclude the JCPOA based on these parameters over the coming months.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/02/parameters-joint-comprehensive-plan-action-regarding-islamic-republic-ir

    • April 02, 2015

      Readout of the President’s Calls with President Francois Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom

      The President spoke separately today with President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom to discuss the political framework reached between the P5+1, the EU, and Iran on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The President thanked the leaders for each country’s important role in negotiating this historic step. The leaders affirmed that while nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the framework represents significant progress towards a lasting, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward.

    • Iran Deal Could Help Regional Security

      March 30, 2015 5:51 PM Pamela Dockins – VOAnews

      STATE DEPARTMENT—
      A State Department spokeswoman says the Arab League decision to create a joint military force that would counter Iranian and Islamic extremist influence in the region is not having a direct impact on Iran nuclear talks.

      However, spokeswoman Marie Harf added that a nuclear deal with Iran could help counter Tehran’s “destabilizing action” in the Middle East region.

      Harf commented from Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday, where negotiators for Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany are trying to reach a framework understanding for future talks on Tehran’s nuclear status, ahead of a self-imposed Tuesday deadline.

      “The fact that the [Middle East] region is facing a number of challenges right now is one of the main reasons why we want to diplomatically prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” said Harf.

      For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/iran-deal-could-help-regional-security/2700348.html

    • Obama, Iran, and the unseen anger translator

      4/03/15 08:03 AM By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      For those hoping to see international diplomacy succeed, President Obama’s remarks yesterday at the White House were a welcome development – preliminary agreement is now in place to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

      But listening to Obama’s address, it seemed if there was a text and a subtext. There’s the message we heard, coupled with the message lurking just below the surface.

      The sketch comedy show “Key & Peele” has an amazing recurring bit in which Americans hear from Obama, played by Jordan Peele, and his “Anger Translator” Luther, played by Keegan Michael Key. The idea is simple: the president will state a simple truth, which Luther will then repeat in an aggressive, confrontational, no-holds-barred sort of way. (Here’s a sample.)

      And while the president’s pitch yesterday was quite compelling, I also found myself looking for Luther, telling us what the president wishes he could have said.

      There’s what Obama said ….
      “Today, the United States – together with our allies and partners – has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

      … and there’s what Obama probably wanted to say:
      “All of those folks who say they don’t want Iran to have nukes? They haven’t done anything. I did. You’re welcome.”

      There’s what Obama said ….
      “This has been a long time coming. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been advancing its nuclear program for decades.”

      … and there’s what Obama probably wanted to say:
      “I’m referring of course to all of those other presidents who were here before me. You know, those folks talked a lot without acting.”

      There’s what Obama said ….
      “By the time I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges, which can produce the materials for a nuclear bomb – and Iran was concealing a covert nuclear facility.”

      … and there’s what Obama probably wanted to say:
      “Let’s all pause to thank the Bush/Cheney administration. When we’re making a list of the messes I had to clean up, this one ranks pretty high.”

      For more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/obama-iran-and-the-unseen-anger-translator#break

    • April 03, 2015

      Readout of the President’s Calls with King Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain, Amir Sabah al Sabah of Kuwait, Amir Tamim al Thani of Qatar, and Crown Prince Mohammed al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates

      The President today spoke with King Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain, Amir Sabah al Sabah of Kuwait, Amir Tamim al Thani of Qatar, and Crown Prince Mohammed al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates. With each the President shared details of the political framework reached between the P5+1, the EU, and Iran on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s nuclear program. He highlighted that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and the months ahead will be used to finalize the technical details for a lasting, comprehensive solution that verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. He also reiterated the United States’ enduring commitment to work with partners to address Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region. The President invited the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council to join him at Camp David this spring to further these consultations.

    • Press Availability in Lausanne, Switzerland

      John Kerry
      Secretary of State
      Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
      Lausanne, Switzerland

      April 2, 2015

      SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good evening and – excuse me – thank you all very, very much for your patience. And I want to start by expressing an enormous thank you, merci, danke, to the people and the Government of Switzerland for their incredible generosity. The way in which they have welcomed us and the amount of effort is really extraordinary, and we’re very, very grateful to them. And throughout this entire process, certainly over the past week, the people of Switzerland have gone above and beyond in order to facilitate these negotiations, and I don’t think anybody could imagine a much more peaceful setting in order to pursue a peaceful path forward. (In French.)

      I also want to thank the very many other nations that have provided a home for these negotiations over the past couple of years – people forget that, it’s been going on that long – and that includes Austria, which was incredibly generous in hosting our delegation in Vienna for a long period of time; Oman, which has not only hosted a number of important meetings, but also played a critical role in getting these talks off the ground in the first place; and then, of course, we say thank you to Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iraq, and my home country, the United States.

      I particularly want to thank President Obama. He has been courageous and determined in his pursuit of a diplomatic path. And from the day that he took office, President Obama has been crystal-clear that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat to our security and the security of our allies in the region, including Israel. He has been just as clear that the best and most effective way to prevent that threat is through diplomacy.

      For more: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/04/240196.htm

    • The great Iranian Obama selfie-fest

      Published on Apr 3, 2015 rt.com

      Iranians took to Twitter as US President Barack Obama’s speech on Iranian nuclear deal, hammered out in Switzerland, was broadcast live on TV uncensored.

    • Weekly Address: Reaching a Comprehensive and Long-Term Deal on Iran’s Nuclear Program

      Remarks of President Barack Obama
      Weekly Address
      The White House
      April 4, 2015

      This week, together with our allies and partners, we reached an historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon and make our country, our allies, and our world safer.

      This framework is the result of tough, principled diplomacy. It’s a good deal — a deal that meets our core objectives, including strict limitations on Iran’s program and cutting off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.

      This deal denies Iran the plutonium necessary to build a bomb. It shuts down Iran’s path to a bomb using enriched uranium. Iran has agreed that it will not stockpile the materials needed to build a weapon. Moreover, international inspectors will have unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear program because Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world. If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.

      And this is a long-term deal, with strict limits on Iran’s program for more than a decade and unprecedented transparency measures that will last for 20 years or more. And as a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran will never be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon.

      In return for Iran’s actions, the international community, including the United States, has agreed to provide Iran with phased relief from certain sanctions. If Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place. Meanwhile, other American sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, its ballistic missile program, all will continue to be enforced.

      As I said this week, many key details will need to be finalized over the next three months, and nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed. And if there is backsliding, there will be no deal.

      Here in the United States, I expect a robust debate. We’ll keep Congress and the American people fully briefed on the substance of the deal. As we engage in this debate, let’s remember—we really only have three options for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program: bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities—which will only set its program back a few years—while starting another war in the Middle East; abandoning negotiations and hoping for the best with sanctions—even though that’s always led to Iran making more progress in its nuclear program; or a robust and verifiable deal like this one that peacefully prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

      As President and Commander in Chief, I firmly believe that the diplomatic option—a comprehensive, long-term deal like this—is by far the best option. For the United States. For our allies. And for the world.

      Our work — this deal — is not yet done. Diplomacy is painstaking work. Success is not guaranteed. But today we have an historic opportunity to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in Iran, and to do so peacefully, with the international community firmly behind us. And this will be our work in the days and months ahead in keeping with the best traditions of American leadership.

    • July 14, 2015
      Statement by the President on Iran

      State Floor

      7:02 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not — a comprehensive, long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

      This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change — change that makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure. This deal is also in line with a tradition of American leadership. It’s now more than 50 years since President Kennedy stood before the American people and said, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” He was speaking then about the need for discussions between the United States and the Soviet Union, which led to efforts to restrict the spread of nuclear weapons.

      In those days, the risk was a catastrophic nuclear war between two super powers. In our time, the risk is that nuclear weapons will spread to more and more countries, particularly in the Middle East, the most volatile region in our world.

      Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region. Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.

      This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework earlier this spring. Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off. And the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place. Because of this deal, Iran will not produce the highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium that form the raw materials necessary for a nuclear bomb.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/statement-president-iran

    • July 14, 2015
      Statement by the President on Iran

      State Floor

      7:02 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not — a comprehensive, long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

      This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change — change that makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure. This deal is also in line with a tradition of American leadership. It’s now more than 50 years since President Kennedy stood before the American people and said, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.” He was speaking then about the need for discussions between the United States and the Soviet Union, which led to efforts to restrict the spread of nuclear weapons.

      In those days, the risk was a catastrophic nuclear war between two super powers. In our time, the risk is that nuclear weapons will spread to more and more countries, particularly in the Middle East, the most volatile region in our world.

      Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region. Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.

      This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework earlier this spring. Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off. And the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place. Because of this deal, Iran will not produce the highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium that form the raw materials necessary for a nuclear bomb.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/statement-president-iran

    • Iran frees Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, 3 others

      10:45 a.m. EST January 16, 2016 Oren Dorell and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

      Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been held in an Iranian prison on spy charges for almost 18 months, was freed Saturday along with three other Iranian-Americans in a prisoner swap on the eve of the lifting of U.S. sanctions against Iran, according to the Iranian news media.

      “Based on an approval of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and the general interests of the Islamic Republic, four Iranian prisoners with dual-nationality were freed today within the framework of a prisoner swap deal,” the office of Tehran prosecutor said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

      There was no immediate confirmation from U.S. officials.

      “While we are hopeful, we have not received any official word of Jason’s release,” said Kristine Coratti, a spokesperson for the Washington Post.

      Rezaian, a dual Iran-U.S. citizen who has been in jail since July 2014, was convicted last month of espionage in a closed-door trial.

      Also released were Amir Hekmat, Pastor Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosrawia, according to Iranian State TV.

      For more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/01/16/iran-prisoners-release/78893472/

    • Remarks on Implementation Day

      John Kerry
      Secretary of State
      Vienna, Austria
      January 16, 2016

      SECRETARY KERRY: Good evening, everybody. Thank you very much for your patience. And I apologize for the fact that I can’t stay to take questions, which I would like to do. But we are operating under some very tight constraints on the rest period the law allows for our pilots, because of some of the delays. So as a result, I need to get to the airport and get on the plane. But I will make a statement before doing so, and I hope it will cover much of what you’re concerned about.

      This evening, we are really reminded once again of diplomacy’s power to tackle significant challenges. And thanks to years of hard work and committed dialogue, we have made vital breakthroughs related to both the nuclear negotiation and a separate long-term diplomatic effort. I’m very happy to say that as we speak, we have received confirmation that five Americans who had been unjustly detained in Iran have been released from custody. And they should be on their way home to their families before long – shortly.

      The President will have more to say about their release later. But I can tell you one thing: While the two tracks of negotiations were not directly related – and they were not – there is no question that the pace and the progress of the humanitarian talks accelerated in light of the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks. And certainly in the time since we reached an agreement last July, there was a significant pickup in that dialogue.

      We have also reached a critical and auspicious milestone on the nuclear issue as well. Today, more than four years after I first traveled to Oman at the request of President Obama to discreetly explore whether the kind of nuclear talks that we ultimately entered into with Iran were even possible, after more than two and a half years of intense multilateral negotiations, the International Atomic Energy Agency has now verified that Iran has honored its commitments to alter – and in fact, dismantle – much of its nuclear program in compliance with the agreement that we reached last July.

      For more: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2016/01/251336.htm

    • January 17, 2016

      Statement by the President on Iran

      The Cabinet Room

      10:48 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: This is a good day, because, once again, we’re seeing what’s possible with strong American diplomacy.

      As I said in my State of the Union address, ensuring the security of the United States and the safety of our people demands a smart, patient and disciplined approach to the world. That includes our diplomacy with the Islamic Republic of Iran. For decades, our differences with Iran meant that our governments almost never spoke to each other. Ultimately, that did not advance America’s interests. Over the years, Iran moved closer and closer to having the ability to build a nuclear weapon. But from Presidents Franklin Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, the United States has never been afraid to pursue diplomacy with our adversaries. And as President, I decided that a strong, confident America could advance our national security by engaging directly with the Iranian government.

      We’ve seen the results. Under the nuclear deal that we, our allies and partners reached with Iran last year, Iran will not get its hands on a nuclear bomb. The region, the United States, and the world will be more secure. As I’ve said many times, the nuclear deal was never intended to resolve all of our differences with Iran. But still, engaging directly with the Iranian government on a sustained basis, for the first time in decades, has created a unique opportunity — a window — to try to resolve important issues. And today, I can report progress on a number of fronts.

      First, yesterday marked a milestone in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Iran has now fulfilled key commitments under the nuclear deal. And I want to take a moment to explain why this is so important.

      Over more than a decade, Iran had moved ahead with its nuclear program, and, before the deal, it had installed nearly 20,000 centrifuges that can enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb. Today, Iran has removed two-thirds of those machines. Before the deal, Iran was steadily increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium — enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs. Today, more than 98 percent of that stockpile has been shipped out of Iran — meaning Iran now doesn’t have enough material for even one bomb. Before, Iran was nearing completion of a new reactor capable of producing plutonium for a bomb. Today, the core of that reactor has been pulled out and filled with concrete so it cannot be used again.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/17/statement-president-iran

  3. Hi CR,

    This is another history making day for the world.

    As you said in your previous post, elections do matter. And, who sits in the People’s House definitely matters. I like the way PBO frame the argument against the GOP and Nut-N-Yahoo from screwing this deal up if they really want peace and a Nuclear free Iran. And, the major powers of the world is standing with PBO and supporting this potential deal. SOS Kerry. and his team did an outstanding job….And, I appreciate Iran’s government and its people for seeking peace, too, not war.

    As PBO said in quoting JFK: “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

    Mr. President, thank you, for giving Peace-a-Chance.

    Thank You for Post!

    • Hi Isaac!

      I agree with you completely! I love your JFK quote and will add it to the main thread!

      Mahalo! 😀

  4. The Employment Situation in March

    Jason Furman April 03, 2015 09:34 AM EDT

    The March employment report reflects a pace of monthly job growth below the recent trend, coming on the heels of February’s strong report. The unemployment rate was stable, broader measures of unemployment fell, and hourly earnings continued their rise. A range of factors including the weather and the global economic slowdown have affected economic data for the first quarter. The President has been clear that he will continue to push for policies including investments in infrastructure and relief from the sequester that would help ensure the strong underlying longer-term trends persist.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

    1. The private sector has added 12.1 million jobs over 61 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record.

    2. Real aggregate weekly earnings have risen nearly 5 percent over the last twelve months.

    3. Over the past twelve months, rising real hourly earnings accounted for nearly half the increase in real aggregate weekly earnings.

    4. The overall share of jobs held by women rose from an average of 48.5 percent in 2001-2007 to 49.3 percent in March 2015.

    5. Job growth in a number of industries fell below recent trends in March.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/04/03/employment-situation-march

    • Here’s Why the March Jobs Report Wasn’t As Bad As You Think

      An unusually large number of people couldn’t work because of bad weather

      April 3, 2015 by Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

      Before you get too glum about the March employment report, consider this: One of the main reasons behind the hiring slowdown was likely something that had little to do with the economy’s underlying strength.

      Beneath the disappointment of the economy adding only 126,000 jobs last month — 53,000 below even the most pessimistic projection in the Bloomberg survey of 98 economists — was an unusually cold winter (or technically spring?) in many unfortunate parts of the country.

      The chill on the jobs figures was most evident in the Labor Department’s calculation of those unable to work due to inclement weather. Here, we see that March 2015 was a little out of the ordinary: While the historical average for March is about 141,000 workers that can’t work due to poor weather, last month there were about 182,000 who were held back.

      That 41,000 difference is an outsized interruption compared with recent years. The chart below shows how far this gauge strayed from the historical average in March 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

      For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-03/here-s-why-the-march-jobs-report-wasn-t-as-bad-as-you-think

  5. Using Utah stage, Obama set to announce solar power initiatives

    4/3/15 The Salt Lake Tribune

    Using Utah as his stage, President Barack Obama prepared Friday to announce programs to reduce pollution and battle climate change by producing more solar energy. They also aim to create tens of thousands of new jobs, especially for veterans.

    He planned to outline such action in a speech at Hill Air Force Base at 11 a.m., after a round-table on clean energy there at 10:15.

    That comes after Obama spent the night in Utah, where he met privately in Salt Lake City with LDS Church leaders, Gov. Gary Herbert and other officials.

    Dan Utech, deputy special assistant to the president for energy and climate change, said Obama is announcing the steps because “as the president has stated, no challenge poses a greater threat to our future generations than climate change,” and his proposals will help “reduce carbon pollution.”

    Obama chose Hill Air Force Base to announce his new solar energy plans, in part, because that base “has already taken leadership by installing solar panels on site,” which more bases will soon copy, according to a White House fact sheet. The president was to use those solar panels as the backdrop for his speech.

    Hill will become one of 10 bases nationally where service members about to leave the military will have an option for accelerated training in the solar energy field to help them find jobs when they become civilians.

    For more: http://www.sltrib.com/news/2362542-155/using-utah-stage-obama-set-to

    • April 03, 2015

      Remarks by the President on Jobs in Solar Energy

      Solar Array
      Hill Air Force Base
      Salt Lake City, Utah

      11:00 A.M. MDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, good morning, everybody. It is wonderful to be in the beautiful state of Utah. And I want to thank General Buhler and Colonel Jolly, and everyone here at Hill Air Force Base, one of the most outstanding facilities that we have.

      Every single day, your work keeps our Air Force ready to meet the many threats that are out there — threats like ISIL, the work that we’re doing in Iraq. You support our troops, our humanitarian missions around the world, and you keep the American people safe. And so to all of our folks in uniform and the civilians who support them, I want to say thank you for the incredible work that you do every single day. And I think the American people want you to know how much they appreciate it as well.

      I just had the opportunity to take a look at the solar installation on this base, and to meet with some of your outstanding representatives, including Senator Orrin Hatch and Congressman Rob Bishop, Mayor Ralph Becker, who’s doing outstanding work, and leaders in the solar industry as well as our community college system, who were talking about Salt Lake City’s commitment to renewable energy, its impact on jobs, its impact on business, and its impact on the environment and climate change.

      Since I took office, solar electricity has gone up twentyfold. And our investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency haven’t just helped to cut carbon pollution, they’ve made us more energy independent. And they’ve helped us create a steady stream of high-wage, good-paying, middle-class jobs.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/03/remarks-president-jobs-solar-energy

  6. Evolution of Mom Dancing Part 2 (w/Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama)

    Published on Apr 2, 2015

    In honor of the 5-year anniversary of Let’s Move!, Jimmy and the First Lady perform Part 2 of “The Evolution of Mom Dancing.” Find out more about Let’s Move! here: http://www.letsmove.gov/.

    • April 03, 2015

      Statement from the President on Passover

      Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in the State of Israel, and throughout the world.

      Tonight, for the seventh year, I’ll hold a Seder in the White House, and we’ll join millions of Jewish families as we retell one of humanity’s great stories of liberation. The Exodus was neither easy nor quick. The Israelites’ journey to freedom required them to choose faith over fear and courage over complacency. Above all, it required the works of an awesome God, who led them out of bondage with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.

      The story of the Exodus – the signs and wonders that appeared when hope seemed lost, the Jewish people’s abiding belief that they would one day reach the Promised Land – has inspired countless generations over the years. It inspired Jewish families to hold fast to their faith, even during times of terrible persecution. It inspired young Civil Rights leaders as they marched across an Alabama bridge in search of their own Promised Land, half a century ago.

      And it continues to inspire us today. Tonight, my family will read the passage of the Haggadah that declares we must see ourselves as though we personally were liberated from Egypt. The Exodus reminds us that progress has always come slow and the future has always been uncertain, but it also reminds there is always reason for hope.

      Like the Israelites who Moses led out of slavery long ago, it is up to us to never lose faith in the better day that lies ahead. In our own country, we can continue our march toward a more perfect union. Around the world, we can seek to extend the miracles of freedom and peace, prosperity and security, to more of God’s creation. And together, we can continue the hard but awesome work of tikkun olam, and do our part to repair the world.

      From my family to yours, Chag Sameach.

  7. *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” Nationwide Day of Action for Workers’ Rights 2015″

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