Obama claims US credibility on line with Iran deal

Obama says better ties with Iran 'conceivable' post-deal however ties were not based on a warmer relationship with Iran

Obama claims US credibility on line with Iran deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

President Barack Obama made a wide-ranging defense of the recently brokered Iran nuclear deal on Sunday.

"It is very important, I think, over the next several weeks, to not get distracted by tone, vote counts, is Mitch McConnell's feelings hurt?“ Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that aired Sunday, referring to the Republican Senate Majority Leader. “I don’t intend to lose on this.”

The Obama administration has been locked in a fierce public battle with Congress about the agreement, with lawmakers often lodging vitriol at officials during public testimony, and officials at times becoming visibly enraged at their comments.

The Obama administration was dealt a significant setback when Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer announced on Thursday that he would vote against the deal, raising the stakes for the administration as it makes the case for the accord before Congress votes on the deal in September. Schumer is a key decision maker on Capitol Hill, and is one of the most senior Jewish members of Congress.

Earlier Steve Israel, Nita Lowey, and Ted Deutch -- announced that they would not support the deal.

Asked if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s forceful lobbying in the U.S. against the deal is appropriate, Obama said that he couldn’t “recall a similar example”.

“I have repeatedly asked both Prime Minister Netanyahu and others to present me with a reasonable, realistic plan that would achieve exactly what this deal achieves, and I have yet to get a response,” he said while stressing that the U.S.’s commitment to Israel’s security is “sacrosanct”.

The American president added that it is “conceivable” that the accord could lead to better relations with Tehran. But he cautioned that the deal itself is not based on a warming of ties.

“The premise of this deal is not that Iran warms to the United States, or that we are engaging in any kind of strategic reassessment of the relationship,” said Obama.

The American president said that he thought that Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is more open to a political solution to Syria’s civil war following the Iran deal.

“What I have been encouraged by is that the Russians are now more interested in discussions around what a political transition, or at least, a framework for talks, would look like inside of Syria,” he said. “Presumably, Iran is seeing some of the same trends that are not good for them.”

“It is even conceivable that Saudi Arabia and Iran at some point, would begin to recognize that their enemy is chaos as much as anything else: what ISIL [Daesh] represents, what the collapse of Syria, or Yemen, or others, represent is far more dangerous than whatever rivalries that may exist between those two nation states,” he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ağustos 2015, 09:10