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Obama on nuke deal: I’ll ‘stand by’ Israel




US President Barack Obama promised to defend Israel in making his most comprehensive case yet for a diplomatic resolution of the standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme.

In a lengthy interview on Saturday April 4, with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Obama made his pitch for the framework accord reached on Thursday in Switzerland to limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for a gradual relaxing of sanctions.

JTA - Obama-Iran

RIGHT: Obama making the announcement of a “framework agreement” at the White House last Thursday

Although he acknowledged the legitimacy of Israel’s concerns about Iran, noting its leaders’ denial of the Holocaust and repeated threats to eliminate the Jewish state, Obama reiterated his view that a negotiated agreement was the “best bet” to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

“There is no formula, there is no option, to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon that will be more effective than the diplomatic initiative and framework that we put forward – and that’s demonstrable,” Obama said.

Israel’s fears

Obama emphasised that he understood the fears of  Netanyahu, who in an appearance on CNN Sunday morning said the deal offered Iran a “free path to the bomb”. The president promised to maintain Israel’s military edge and to protect it from aggression, saying the deal was “sending a very clear message to the Iranians and to the entire region that if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there”.

Obama called the opportunity to reach an agreement with Iran a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”. Comparing his engagement with Iran to his diplomatic opening with Cuba, Obama asserted that the United States could pursue detente with Tehran without risking its core strategic interests. And though he acknowledged that Israel was more vulnerable to Iran than the United States, Obama said American security guarantees should be “sufficient” to deter an attack.

“But what I would say to [Israelis] is that not only am I absolutely committed to making sure that they maintain their qualitative military edge, and that they can deter any potential future attacks, but what I’m willing to do is to make the kinds of commitments that would give everybody in the neighbourhood, including Iran, a clarity that if Israel were to be attacked by any state, that we would stand by them,” Obama said.
“And that, I think, should be … sufficient to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see whether or not we can at least take the nuclear issue off the table.”

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  1. David

    Apr 8, 2015 at 3:07 am

    ‘Unfortunately what is Obama’s \”best bet\”  is not any where near to a resolution that Israel can accept , due mainly to the Iranian past president’s(lunatic – Ahmadinejad) words as well as those of the new regime , because they have never bothered to retract or attempt to apologise for, or correct them .

       Obama seems to have swept all the comments and rhetoric under a very large rug , to allow himself the luxury of \”a historical anti Nuclear agreement with the devil \”.

    Now will come the excuses and the new PR rhetoric to to pander to the devil as well as calm the waters of Israeli and Jewish mistrust of him and the agreement.

      Obama will be retired at the end of his term with an extra notch on his C.V. and the egotism of his ultimate achievement, that is not worth the paper it is written on

    A new President of the USA and Netanyahu will be left to check under the rug and work thru the mess . ‘

  2. nat cheiman

    Apr 8, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    ‘Yeah sure!!!!! The Republicans will. Hussein Obama won’t.’

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