Nov. 24 - U.S. President Barack Obama hails the agreement reached between the six major powers and Iran over its nuclear program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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President Barack Obama said on Saturday (November 23) that a deal between Iran and six major powers was an important first step towards a comprehensive solution to Iran's nuclear programme.
The accord was designed as a package of confidence-building steps to ease decades of tensions and confrontation and banish the spectre of a Middle East war over Tehran's nuclear aspirations.
The West fears that Iran has been seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability.
Obama addressed the objections Israel and other Middle East nations had towards a deal with Iran.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT, SAYING:
"As we go forward, the resolve of the United States will remain firm, as will our commitment to our friends and allies - particularly Israel and our Gulf partners, who have good reason to be skeptical about Iran's intentions. Ultimately, only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenge posed by Iran's nuclear program. As President and Commander in Chief, I will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. However, I have a profound responsibility to try to resolve our differences peacefully, rather than rush towards conflict. Today, we have a real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement, and I believe we must test it."
Israel, thought to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a mortal threat and wants its uranium enrichment capabilities dismantled and its enriched uranium removed.
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