Obama: Even Israel says Iran deal was a success

U.S. President hails nuclear deal between Iran and the West, says Israel thinks the same.

Elad Benari,

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday said the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the West had been successful, and said that even Israel acknowledges this fact.

The comments by Obama were made during a press briefing at the Pentagon, which largely focused on the report that Washington paid $400 million to Iran. Obama denied at the briefing that the money was ransom for the return of Americans who were held in Tehran.

But he also addressed the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, saying, according to RealClearPolitics, “It has been well over a year since the agreement with Iran to stop its nuclear program was signed. And by all accounts it has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work.”

“You will recall that there were all these horror stories about how Iran was going to cheat, and this wasn't going to work, and Iran was going to get $150 billion to finance terrorism and all these kinds of scenarios. And none of them have come to pass,” continued Obama.

“And it's not just the assessment of our intelligence community. It's the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community,” he stressed. “The country that was most opposed to this deal (ie. Israel -ed.) that acknowledges this has been a game-changer that Iran has abided by the deal that they no longer have the sort of short term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons.”

Obama's comments are not the first time that an American official has quoted Israeli security officials in justifying the nuclear deal.

Secretary of State John Kerry in February cited comments by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot as proof that the nuclear deal with Iran has improved Israel's security.

He was apparently referring to comments by the IDF Chief of Staff at the Institute for National Security Studies’ annual conference in Tel Aviv, where he said that although the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers contained “many risks,” it also featured "opportunities" for Israel.

Despite Israel's initial objection to the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu reportedly informed Washington that his speech at the UN General Assembly in October of 2015 was the end of his public fight against the accord.


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