US President Barack Obama has vowed he will not be defeated in passing the Iran nuclear deal signed in July between the Islamic Republic and P5+1 western powers.
In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, the president said his administration will overcome all political opposition to the deal. “I don’t intend to lose on this,” he said.
Regarding Israel’s security, which the president said was “sacrosanct” to his administration, Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “wrong” over his concerns and criticism of the agreement.
When asked by Zakaria whether Netanyahu has “injected himself forcefully” into the political debate in Washington, the president responded, “right.”
Netanyahu and Congressional lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, who oppose the deal have given no “plausible alternative to Iran attaining a nuclear weapon other than military strikes,” the president stated.
“I’ve asked Netanyahu to present me with a reasonable realistic plan to achieve exactly what this deal achieves, and we have yet to achieve a response,” Obama said. “On the substance, the prime minister is wrong on this. I think that I can show that the basic assumptions that he’s made are incorrect.”
Obama explained that opposition to the nuclear accord stems mainly from ignorance because “people haven’t been getting all the information.”
“If you look at the merits of the deal, you will conclude that it will cut off a pathway from Iran to a nuclear weapon,” he explained.
Should Israel ever be attacked by Iran, “I have no doubt we would do everything we needed to do to ensure Israel is protected,” Obama pledged.
“I’ve acted on the basic notion that our commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct,” adding that the US remains a “deep and profound” ally of Israel.
With Israeli and American disapproval of the nuclear deal increasing each week, the president said that he “can understand why the Israeli public is suspicious and cautious about the deal.” However, Obama assured, the agreement is “very good” for Israel.
“If in fact my argument is right, that this is the best way for Iran not to get a nuclear weapon, then that’s not just good for the United States. That is very good for Israel.”