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Can Iran's leaders be trusted?


What U.S. policymakers have been clear about for decades -- both Democrats and Republicans alike -- is that there are few greater threats to our global security than a nuclear-armed Iran. That is why the U.S. and our international partners spent nearly two years working out the best possible diplomatic solution to eliminate that threat. However, throughout our negotiations with Iran, we've remained clear-eyed about the Iranian regime. Whether it's supporting terrorist groups like Hezbollah, continued threats directed at Israel, human rights abuses, or the unjust detention of American citizens, I understand exactly the kind of dangerous and repressive regime we're dealing with in Iran.

 
So let me be clear: This agreement is not based on trust. It's based exclusively on unprecedented verification. Never before has a nuclear non-proliferation agreement included such a robust and far-reaching monitoring and transparency regime.  Under this agreement, Iran is prohibited from ever pursuing a nuclear weapon -- and we will be in the strongest position ever to make sure that Iran follows through.
 
Under this deal, international inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be continuously monitoring every part of Iran's entire nuclear program. That means if Iran tries to secretly divert any fissile material to try and build a weapon, the IAEA and the world will know. And, if Iran should try to stand up a covert nuclear program, IAEA inspectors can have access and inspect any site they deem suspicious. If there is a suspicious site in Iran, international inspectors can and will have eyes on it.
 
Under this deal, Iran will also have to significantly reduce the fissile material and technology it needs to build a weapon. Iran must reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98%. It must reduce the number of centrifuges in operation from roughly 20,000 to under 6,000. Iran will also have to reconfigure its Arak reactor so it will not produce weapons-grade plutonium.
 
So there is not a single part of this deal that depends on trust. You can read about the verification plan in the deal for yourself here. When you do, you will see how the deal's unprecedented measures are set up to ensure -- and verify -- that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon
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