President Barack Obama today hailed the powers of diplomacy in dealing with Iran, as the nuclear deal struck with the government in Tehran takes effect and “unjustly detained” Americans return home after a prisoner swap.
“Engaging directly with the Iranian government on a sustained basis, for the first time in decades, has created a unique opportunity, a window, to resolve important issues,” Obama said from the White House during a rare Sunday public statement.
He called the new agreement with Iran a “milestone” in making sure it doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.
“We’ve now closed off every single path Iran had to building a (nuclear) bomb,” he said. “We’ll know if Iran ever tries to break out.”
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Defeating ISIS in Iraq will take time, in part because the Iraqi military needs to be reconstituted, and because it will take time to arrange the kind of local support like the Sunni Awakening years ago, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says.
U.S. airstrikes aren’t designed to defeat ISIS by themselves, he said. “You and others should not be looking for some massive retreat in the next week or two,” he tells CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
The fight against ISIS not only will include ongoing strikes, but also foreign fighters, cutting off financing, and a major effort to “reclaim Islam by Muslims,” he says.