This statement from Obama is only the latest where he is making it clear that military power is off the table.
Senator Patrick Leahy is strongly defending President Obama’s proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.
“Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option: another war in the Middle East”, Obama said.
Obama’s diplomatic overtures to Iran, a centerpiece of his foreign policy agenda, have put him at odds with Republicans and some Democrats, as well as with Netanyahu, who has campaigned vigorously against the deal.
“Yeah, I would say if you compare Republicans who fought in the war with Iranian hard-liners, that would be defined as not pulling any punches”, host Joe Scarborough responded bitterly.
The linchpin of President Barack Obama’s defense of the worldwide nuclear agreement with Iran amounts to: I told you so. I have yet to hear one.
He derided notions that the U.S. was conned and likened critics to warmongers who got us into the trillion-dollar Iraq War debacle.
Challenging those who say the U.S. should have layered tougher sanctions on Tehran and held out for a better deal, Obama said they “are either ignorant of Iranian society or they’re just not being straight with the American people”. “But we can set them back to day zero”.
I’ve posted the video of the president’s remarks above, and the full transcript of the speech is already online, but I was struck by the forcefulness of the president’s case.
He acknowledged his administration’s split with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran deal, which he considers in the best interest of both countries. So in that sense, the critics are right. It’s them – not “all Iranians” – who sponsor terrorism.
“As Americans, we should be proud of this achievement”.
Opponents of the agreement, including powerful pro-Israel lobbying groups that believe it would threaten the Jewish state, have been trying to persuade lawmakers to reject it.
Hollywood media mogul Haim Saban, who maintains a very close relationship with President Barack Obama, endorsed Israel’s campaign against the Iran nuclear deal, in an interview with Israel’s national radio host Ayala Hasson on Thursday.
If lawmakers kill the deal, Obama said, it would damage America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy.
President Obama speaks at American University’s School of global Service in Washington on Wednesday.
“That is the case with the United States, too”, he said.
Securing support for the deal could prove to be Obama’s most important foreign policy legacy as he heads towards the Oval Office exit.
Because starting a war is the one thing.
“Every nation in the world that has commented publicly – with the exception of the Israeli government – has expressed support”, he said.