President Barack Obama on Wednesday launched a spirited defense of the Iran deal, saying it “is our best means of assuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon”.
The deal, announced Tuesday, cuts off every pathway Iraq had to a nuclear weapon and affords the West “unprecedented round-the-clock” monitoring of its nuclear facilities.
“This deal makes our country, and the world, safer and more secure,” Obama said at a news conference addressing questions on the Iran deal, eager to answer every objection raised yet.
Obama hung back to take more questions after finishing off the list of reporters he was scheduled to take questions from. “This is the most vigorous inspection and verification regime by far that has ever been negotiated,” the president said, asking for argument’s sake what were the alternatives.
Obama said he would like the issue debated on facts, but conceded that in Washington DC politics will indeed colour the debate as it has already. Selling the Iran deal to critics and skeptics at home here in the US is going to be just as difficult for him as signing it after months of tortuous negotiations. If not more.
Republicans, for instance, have vowed to kill it. They have complete control of both chambers of US Congress, and they can make it extremely difficult for the president. House of Representatives speaker John Boehner said on Tuesday that “if in fact it’s as bad a deal as I think it is at this moment, we’ll do everything we can to stop it.”
The powerful pro-Israel lobby doesn’t like the deal as well and it can complicate the president’s task even further, because its influence and clout cuts across party lines.
The AIPAC, which leads that lobby, has said it is “deeply concerned” that the agreement may not meet the five requirements it had listed for it be called a good deal.