Obama takes aim at crit­ics of Iran deal

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

PRES­I­DENT Barack Obama has con­fronted crit­ics of the nu­clear deal reached with Iran, say­ing they were at odds with “99 per cent” of the world and had failed to of­fer any real al­ter­na­tive.

As the freshly inked deal was put to mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, a com­bat­ive and at times testy Mr Obama said op­po­nents at home and abroad had of­fered only a path to war.

“If 99 per cent of the world com­mu­nity and the ma­jor­ity of nu­clear ex­perts look at this thing and they say this will pre­vent Iran from get­ting a nu­clear bomb, and you are ar­gu­ing ei­ther that it does not or that even if it does, it’s tem­po­rary ... then you should have some al­ter­na­tive,” Mr Obama said.

The is­sue is ei­ther re­solved “diplo­mat­i­cally, through a ne­go­ti­a­tion, or it’s re­solved through force. Through war. Those are the op­tions,” he said.

As part of the in­ter­na­tional charm of­fen­sive to sell the deal, Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry will meet Saudi For­eign Min­is­ter Adel al- Jubeir in Washington.

Mr Obama’s Repub­li­can ri­vals, who hope to scup­per the agree­ment in a Con­gres­sional vote, have ac­cused him of ap­pease­ment. The agree­ment, signed on Tues­day af­ter two years of talks, aims to roll back Tehran’s nu­clear pro­gram in re­turn for lift­ing sanc­tions that have crip­pled Iran’s econ­omy.

While Vice- Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den spent the morn­ing cor­ralling and ca­ress­ing some­time scep­ti­cal Con­gres­sional Democrats into vot­ing for the deal, Mr Obama pre­ferred the pres­i­den­tial bully pulpit. He di­rected some of his sharpest com­ments at long- time ally Is­rael, which has op­posed the deal.

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu has de­scribed it as a “his­toric mis­take” and hinted at a pos­si­ble mil­i­tary re­sponse. “If some­body wants to make that de­bate, whether it’s the Repub­li­can lead­er­ship or Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu or the Is­raeli am­bas­sador or oth­ers, they are free to make it, but it’s not per­sua­sive,” Mr Obama said.

IR­RI­TATED: Barack Obama.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.