Obama: Option Of Totally Dismantling Iran’s Nuclear Program Is ‘Not Available’


President Obama said on Saturday that any final nuclear agreement with Iran would likely allow the Islamic Republic to keep some aspects of its program under strict international supervision as the “ideal” option of totally ridding the Islamic Republic of its nuclear infrastructure is “not available.”

Critics of the recent deal reached between the P5+1 and Iran in Geneva claim that Iran should never be allowed to enrich uranium and that all elements of Iran’s program should be “dismantled.”

“One can envision an ideal world in which Iran said, we’ll destroy every element and facility and you name it, it’s all gone,” Obama said at an event sponsored by the Brookings Institution

“If we could create an option in which Iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program, and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and, for that matter, got rid of all its military capabilities, I would take it,” Obama said. “But that particular option is not available.”

Obama explained that “[b]ecause the technology of the nuclear cycle, you can get off the Internet; the knowledge of creating a nuclear weapons is already out there.” He added, “the technology here is available to any good physics student at pretty much any university around the world.”

“We’re not going to be able to eliminate” Iran’s access to nuclear technology or ability to build a nuclear program, Obama said. “But what we can do is eliminate the incentive for them to want to do this.”

Obama’s comments track with findings from a report released earlier this year by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Federation of American Scientists which says that Iran’s nuclear program cannot be “bombed away.”

“Given the country’s indigenous knowledge and expertise, the only long-term solution for assuring that Iran’s nuclear program remains purely peaceful is to find a mutually agreeable diplomatic solution,” the report said.

While Obama stressed at the Brookings event that the U.S. will never affirm Iran’s right to enrich uranium, White House officials have been suggesting that allowing Iran some peaceful enrichment capabilities might be part of the final agreement. “[I]f and only if Iran can meet all of our concerns, give us assurance that their program is peaceful, accept significant constraints that meet the test of the United States and the international community,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said last month. “[I]f and only if in that circumstance could we foresee that acceptance of that capability.”