President Obama reacted to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress today, admitting that he did not the watch the speech, but rather took a look at the transcript.
“As far as I can tell, there was nothing new,” he told reporters after a meeting with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
During his remarks, Obama criticized Netanyahu’s speech for failing to offer a concrete plan for action, pointing out that the Prime Minister, “didn’t offer any viable alternatives” to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“The alternative that the Prime Minister offers is no deal, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program, without us having any insight into what they’re doing,” he said.
Obama claimed that sanctions and military action would not be enough to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and called for patience in the negotiations process.
“We have evidence from the past decade that those sanctions are not sufficient to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions,” he said.
He cautioned skeptics, however, reminding them that he was committed to a good deal with the Iranians.
“I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal than a bad deal,” the president said. “But if we’re successful in negotiating, then, in fact, this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Nothing else comes close.”
Obama insisted that if he signed a deal, he would make sure that Iran was prevented for obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“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,” he said.