The administration is planning an aggressive public effort to explain and defend the Iran framework — including a tough assessment of the alternatives — that President Barack Obama vowed on Thursday that he’d lead himself.
“This is very complicated. A lot of this is hard to talk about to the American people,” said one senior administration official in the hours after Obama kicked things off Thursday. “This is tough stuff to put your mind around.”
The pitch was clear from Obama’s statement in the Rose Garden and Secretary of State John Kerry’s follow-up press conference in Switzerland: The deal will shut down all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon, international inspectors will be able to make sure Iran isn’t cheating, and the restrictions will last 10 to 20 years — and in some cases, permanently.
And the big closer: Do this or prepare for a war that no one wants and won’t work anyway.