Back to Top is the premiere source for primary source information and nonpartisan, realistic analysis of Iran's nuclear program.

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Barack Obama

"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. Today's announcement marks one more chapter in our pursuit of a safer, more helpful and more hopeful world."
Roll Call - July 2015
[Related: Iranian Nuclear Program; Military Option; Negotiations]

"Time and again, [Iran] has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful, and to meet its obligations to the United Nations ... America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy .. We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power, but one of the purposes of the United Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace. And make no mistake, a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained ... And that's why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
White House - September 2012
[Related: Iranian Nuclear Program; Military Option; Negotiations]


"When faced with a regime that threatens global security and denies the Holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel, the United States will do everything in our power to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon."
White House - April 2012
[Related: Exporting Terrorism; Military Option]

"The Iranian regime ... says it stand for the rights of protesters abroad, yet represses its own people at home. Let's remember that the first peaceful protests in the region were in the streets of Tehran, where the government brutalized women and men, and threw innocent people into jail. We still hear the chants echo from the rooftops of Tehran. The image of a young woman dying in the streets is still seared in our memory. And we will continue to insist that the Iranian people deserve their universal rights, and a government that does not smother their aspirations."
White House - May 2011
[Related: Human Rights in Iran]

"It is profoundly in the United States' interest to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We do not want to see a nuclear arms race in one of the most volatile regions in the world. We do not want the possibility of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of terrorists. And we do not want a regime that has been a state sponsor of terrorism being able to feel that it can act even more aggressively or with impunity as a consequence of its nuclear power. That's why we have worked so diligently to set up the most crippling sanctions ever with respect to Iran."
White House - March 2012
[Related: Iranian Nuclear Program; Sanctions]

"The leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations. And we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon."
State of the Union Address - February 2013
[Related: Nuclear Negotiations; Military Option]

"I have been crystal clear about my position Iran possessing a nuclear weapon - that is a red line for us ... that would be dangerous for the world, dangerous for U.S. national security interests. What I have also said is that there is a window, not an infinite period of time, but a window of time, where we can resolve this diplomatically and that it is in all of our interests ... if we can resolve this diplomatically ... We think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don't want to cut it too close."
ITV Channel 2 - March 2013
[Related:U.S. Sanctions; Iran's Nuclear Program; Military Option vs. Iran]

"[The United States and Israel] agree that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to the region, a threat to the world, and potentially an existential threat to Israel. And we agree on our goal. We do not have a policy of containment when it comes to a nuclear Iran. Our policy is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We prefer to resolve this diplomatically, and there's still time to do so. Iran's leaders must understand, however, that they have to meet their international obligations. And, meanwhile, the international community will continue to increase the pressure on the Iranian government. The United States will continue to consult closely with Israel on next steps. And I will repeat: All options are on the table. We will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from getting the world's worst weapons ... I think there is time to resolve this issue diplomatically. The question is, will Iranian leadership seize that opportunity? Will they walk through that door? And it would be in everybody's interests ... it would be in the interest of the Iranian people if this gets resolved diplomatically."
ITV Channel 2 - March 2013
[Related:U.S. Sanctions; Iran's Nuclear Program; Military Option vs. Iran]

"And I think what the Iranians understand is that the nuclear issue is a far larger issue for us than the chemical weapons issue, that the threat against Israel that a nuclear Iran poses, is much closer to our core interests, that a nuclear arms race in the region is something that would be profoundly destabilizing. And so my suspicion is that the Iranians recognize they shouldn't draw a lesson that we haven't struck [Syria] to think we won't strike Iran."
ABC News - September 2013
[Related:U.S. Sanctions; Iran's Nuclear Program; Military Option vs. Iran]

"I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship, one based on mutual interests and mutual respect ... I've made it clear ... that America prefers to resolve our concerns over Iran's nuclear program peacefully, although we are determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. We are not seeking regime change and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy ... The world has seen Iran evade its responsibilities in the past and has an abiding interest in making sure that Iran meets its obligations in the future."
United Nations - September 2013
[Related:U.S. Sanctions; Iran's Nuclear Program; Military Option vs. Iran]

Joe Biden
(Vice President)

"Iran's dangerous nuclear weapons program and its continued support of terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas not only endanger Israel but endanger the world ... We have a united international community behind unprecedented sanctions. We have left Iran more isolated than ever ... It is no longer on the ascendency. The purpose of this pressure is not to punish. It is to convince Iran to make good on its international obligations. Put simply, we are sharpening a choice that the Iranian leadership has to make: They can meet their obligations and give the international community ironclad confidence in the peaceful nature of their program, or they can continue down the path they're on to further isolate and mounting pressure of the world."
Speech at AIPAC Policy Conference - March 2013
[Related: Sanctions & Diplomacy; Military Option]

Chuck Hagel
(Secretary of Defense)

"I am fully committed to the president's goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I have been on record on that issue and as I said in the past many times, all options must be on the table to achieve that goal. My policy has always been the same as the president's, one of prevention, not of containment ... I've always said that Iran must not get weapons of mass destruction. I've always said it's a sponsor of terrorism. And I've always said the military option should remain on the table to assure that Iran does not get nuclear weapons."
Hearing Before Armed Services Committee - February 2013
[Related: U.S. Sanctions; Iran & Terrorism; Military Option]

John Kerry
(Secretary of State)

"We will do what we must do to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and I repeat here today, our policy is not containment. It is prevention, and the clock is ticking on our efforts to secure responsible compliance ... Iranians need to understand that there's no other agenda here. If their program is peaceful, they can prove it. And that's what we are seeking."
CNN - January 2013
[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program; Negotiations; US Sanctions on Iran]


"It's important for the world to have credibility with respect to our nonproliferation efforts. Just as it's impermissible for North Korea to pursue this kind of reckless effort, so we have said it's impermissible with respect to Iran. What our response is with respect to this will have an impact on all other nonproliferation efforts ... If you are going to say things, they have to mean something. And to mean something you have to be prepared to follow up, and that's exactly what we are prepared to do."
FOX News - February 2013
[Related: Nuclear Proliferation; Military Option]

"We are not going to get trapped into a delay-after-delay process here. It is incumbent on the Iranians to prove that they are prepared to meet our willingness, President Obama's willingness, again and again stated by the president, to be open to a diplomatic resolution here."
Washington Post - February 2013
[Related: Nuclear Negotiations]

"The window for a diplomatic solution simply cannot by definition remain open forever. But it is open today. It is open now ... There is still time but there is only time if Iran makes the decision to come to the table and negotiate in good faith."
Jerusalem Post - February 2013
[Related: Nuclear Negotiations]

"No option is off the table. No option will be taken off the table ... [the United States] will continue to seek a diplomatic solution. But our eyes are open, and we understand that the clock is moving. And no one will allow the diplomatic process to stand in the way of whatever choices need to be made to protect the world from yet another nuclear weapon in the wrong hands ... [President Obama] is serious - we will stand with Israel against this threat and with the rest of the world, who have underscored that all we are looking for is Iran to live up to its international obligations. You have friends in this administration, in Congress, and in America."
Jerusalem Post - April 2013
[Related: Nuclear Negotiations; Military Option]

General Martin Demosey
(Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)

"Iran is a threat to US national security in many ways, not simply their move towards the potential to develop a nuclear weapon ... which should be of concern to all of us and is. We have been very clear as a nation that we are determined to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon because it would be so destabilising to the region. But they are also active in cyber. Theyve got surrogates all over the region and all over the world. They proliferate arms. They are a disruptive influence globally. And so I do consider them a threat to our national security."
Congressional Hearing - June 2013
[Related: Iran's Nuclear Program; Iranian Threat; Nuclear Proliferation]

General James Mattis
(Commander of U.S. Central Command)

"Iran remains the single-most significant regional threat to stability and prosperity ... [the Iranian government's] Reckless behavior and bellicose rhetoric characterize a leadership that cannot win the affection of its own people or the respect of any responsible nation in the region ... Despite significant economic sanctions and increased diplomatic isolation within the global community, Iran continues to export instability and violence across the region and beyond."
Hearing Before Senate Armed Services Committee - March 2013
[Related: Military Option; Nuclear Negotiations; U.S. Sanctions]

Hillary Clinton
(Former Secretary of State)

"If Iran has a nuclear weapon ... they will be in the market within hours. And that is going to create a cascade of difficult challenges for us and for Israel and for all of our friends and partners ... It is not only about Iran and about Iran's intentions, however one tries to discern them, it's about the arms race that would take place in the region with such unforeseen consequences."
CBS News - June 2012
[Related: Exporting Terrorism; Nuclear Proliferation]


"[The USA] remains focused on relaunching talks. The international community can help but it is up to the parties to do the work ... Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision. The choice is ultimately Iran's ... [but] we will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon."
BBC News - July 2012
[Related: Negotiations]

Susan Rice
(Former UN Ambassador)

"We urge the [UN Security Council] to renew its focus on Iran's prohibited ballistic missile programs. In July, officials from Iran's Revolutionary Guard corps tested ballistic missiles capable of traveling 1,300 kilometers. Although such tests are in clear violation of paragraph 9 of resolution 1929, the Council and the Committee have not yet taken effective action to respond to this blatant noncompliance.."
US Mission to the UN - September 2012
[Related: Iran Missile Arsenal; United Nations Sanctions]

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