Netanyahu offered no viable alternatives to Iran talks: Obama

Washington, PTI | Updated : 04 March 2015, 08:25 AM

President Barack Obama on Tuesday said there was “nothing new” in Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, saying the Israeli Prime Minister did not offer a better option than negotiations to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“We’re staying focused on the central issue here. How do we prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon? The path that we proposed, if successful, by far is the best way to do that.  That’s demonstrable,” Obama told reporters at the Oval Office of the White House.

“And Prime Minister Netanyahu has not offered any kind of viable alternative that would achieve the same verifiable mechanisms to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” he said.

He asked the Congress to express their strong support for Israel’s security and “wait until there’s absolutely a deal on the table that Iran has agreed to, at which point everyone can evaluate it.”

“We don’t have to speculate. And what I can guarantee is that if it’s a deal I’ve signed off on, I will be able to prove that it is the best way for us to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.

“As far as I can tell, there was nothing new. The prime minister I think appropriately pointed out that the bond between the United States and America is unbreakable, and on that point, I thoroughly agree,” he said.

“He also pointed out that Iran has been a dangerous regime and continues to engage in activities that are contrary to the interest of the United States, to Israel, and to the region. And on that we agree. He also pointed out the fact that Iran has repeatedly threatened Israel and engaged in the most venomous of anti-Semitic statements, and no one can dispute that,” he added.

“But on the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region. The prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives,” he said.

First Published: Wednesday, March 04, 2015 07:55 AM
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