US President Barack Obama intends to tell Americans ahead of a Wednesday speech that the possible rejection of the Iran nuclear deal would be a “historic mistake”, a White House official was quoted by Ha’aretz as saying.
The president’s comments come in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated criticism of the dangers of the agreement, which Netanyahu himself has dubbed a historic mistake.
Calling the nuclear deal the most important US foreign policy decision since the decision to declare war on Iraq, the official revealed that Obama “will make the case that this should not even be a close call – this deal has the most comprehensive inspections and transparency regime that we’ve ever negotiated.”
In his speech, Obama will point out that those lawmakers who currently oppose the Iran deal supported to going to war with Iraq. The president is expected to say that “it would be a historic mistake to squander this opportunity – removing constraints on the Iranian program, unraveling the sanctions regime, and damaging American credibility.”
The president will also assure the American people that the nuclear accord “cut’s off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb, and includes a permanent prohibition on Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
On Tuesday, Obama met with prominent Jewish American leaders in a two hour meeting outlining the key points of the nuclear agreement. The president reportedly summarized why the nuclear agreement should be supported in an attempt to pressure US lawmakers to pass the deal.
According to the White House official, the president emphasized to Jewish leaders that the deal would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and pledged his support to continue supporting Israel and strengthen its security.
With Obama’s lobbying of the Jewish community in the US continuing, Netanyahu did some lobbying of his own on Tuesday. In a live webcast with American Jewish leaders, the prime minister warned against the deal.
Speaking with the Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents, which broadcasted to some 10,000 people, Netanyahu laid out the argument that “the more people know about the deal the more they oppose it,” highlighting recent polls in the US showing opposition to the agreement increasing among the American public.
The Israeli leader slammed those who say that Israel seeks war with Iran, which he called a “most outrageous” lie and “just not true.”
“The alternative is still no deal or a better deal – not war,” Netanyahu explained. “The claim Israel wants war is not only wrong – it is outrageous.”