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President Obama hails Iran nuclear agreement progress, prisoner release

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President Barack Obama on Sunday hailed the powers of diplomacy in dealing with Iran as the nuclear deal struck with the government in Tehran takes effect and “unjustly detained” Americans return home after a prisoner swap made public a day earlier.

“Engaging directly with the Iranian government on a sustained basis, for the first time in decades, has created a unique opportunity, a window, to resolve important issues,” Obama said from the White House during a rare Sunday public statement.

The President hailed the recent developments as further proof his decision to engage directly with Iran was a more effective path than had been pursued in past decades.

“We’ve achieved this historic progress through diplomacy,” he said, “without resorting to another war in the Middle East.”

He also said Saturday marked a “milestone” in making sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.

“We’ve now closed off every single path Iran had to building a (nuclear) bomb,” he said. “We’ll know if Iran ever tries to break out.”