Obama warns Trump against undoing Iran deal on anniversary
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Monday marked the first anniversary of the nuclear deal with Iran by emphasizing its "significant and concrete results" and warning the incoming Trump administration against undoing a pact supported by the world's major powers.
In language clearly directed at Donald Trump, who is set to take office on Friday, a White House statement said "the United States must remember that this agreement was the result of years of work, and represents an agreement between the world's major powers -- not simply the United States and Iran."
It added that "a diplomatic resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is far preferable to an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program or another war in the Middle East."
Trump has often denounced the nuclear deal, and in a Sunday interview with the Times of London and Bild newspaper of Germany he continued his criticism, saying, "I'm not happy with the Iran deal, I think it's one of the worst deals ever made."
But he declined to say whether he intended to "renegotiate" the deal, as he asserted regularly during the presidential campaign.
The White House insisted Monday that despite US reservations about other actions by Iran -- including its support for "violent proxies" and "terrorist groups" -- Tehran was upholding its nuclear commitments.
Iran, it said, had "reduced its uranium stockpile by 98 percent and removed two-thirds of its centrifuges."
The White House stance was backed up by a statement from Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped negotiate the deal.
The agreement, Kerry said, had "resolved a major nuclear threat without firing a shot or sending a single soldier into combat. It was endorsed unanimously by the United Nations Security Council and earned the support of more than 100 countries across the globe."