President Obama: Iran Deal a ‘1st Step’ 

He called the agreement an “important first step” that cuts off the Islamic republic’s most likely path toward a bomb.

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President Barack Obama makes a statement announcing an interim agreement on Iranian nuclear power in the State Dining Room at the White House late Saturday.

T.J. Kirkpatrick-Pool/Getty Images

After weeks of delivering somber news about the Affordable Care Act at home, President Barack Obama was able to welcome good news from abroad late Saturday about Iran’s historic agreement to temporarily freeze its nuclear program.

He said the interim nuclear agreement with Iran is an "important first step" that cuts off the Islamic republic's most likely path toward a bomb, the Associated Press reports.

"These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon," Obama said at the White House late Saturday.

President Obama spoke after the U.S. and five international partners agreed to a short-term deal with Iran, whose goal is to eventually bring an end to halt Iran’s contested program. Under the deal, Iran agreed to halt progress on key elements of its nuclear program in exchange for modest relief from U.S. economic sanctions, the AP reports.

Obama vowed not to impose new penalties during the agreement, the AP says, which will likely raise the ire of some congressional members who have been pushing for tougher sanctions against Iran.

"If Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure," President Obama said.

Read more at ABC.

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