SAN FRANCISCO – President Obama on Monday defended the historic accord reached over the weekend with Iran, saying “we cannot close the door on diplomacy” despite criticism from Republican lawmakers and the Israeli government.

“We cannot close the door on diplomacy and we cannot rule out peaceful solutions to the world’s problems,” Obama said. He added, “Tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing for our security.”

Obama’s remarks came at the beginning of an immigration policy speech at the Betty Ong Recreation Center in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

Obama hailed the agreement with Iran as the result of “clear-eyed and principled diplomacy.”

“If Iran seizes this opportunity and chooses to join the global community, then we can begin to chip away at the mistrust that’s existed for many, many years,” Obama said.