Obama’s Iran stand
VIGOROUSLY challenging his critics, President Barack Obama launched an aggressive and detailed defence of a landmark Iranian nuclear accord yesterday, rejecting the idea that it leaves Tehran on the brink of a bomb and arguing the only alternative to the diplomatic deal is war.
The President spoke during a lengthy news conference one day after Iran, the US and five other world powers finalised a historic, years-long agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Opposition to the deal has been fierce, both in Washington and Israel. Sunni Arab rivals of Shi’ite Iran also expressed concerns.
“Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war,” Mr Obama said. “Those are the options.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, perhaps the fiercest critic of Mr Obama’s overtures to Iran, showed no sign he could be persuaded to even tolerate the agreement.
In remarks to Israel’s parliament, Mr Netanyahu said he was not bound by the terms of the deal and could still take military action against Iran.
Mr Netanyahu sees Iran’s suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon as a threat to Israel.