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Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal ‘not based on trust’

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Ben Wolfgang
The Washington Times
December 8, 2013

President Obama acknowledged Saturday that he’d prefer to see a much harsher agreement with Iran, one that not only shuts down the Middle Eastern nation’s nuclear program entirely but also eliminates all of its “military capabilities.”

Such an option, however, isn’t on the table and is simply unrealistic, the president said, which is why critics of the recent deal with Iran — both domestically and across the globe, particularly in Israel — should be content with what has been achieved thus far.

“If we could create an option in which Iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their nuclear program and foreswore the possibility of ever having a nuclear program, and for that matter, got rid of all of its military capabilities, I would take it. But that particular option is not available,” Mr. Obama said Saturday at a Brookings Institution forum dedicated to the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, which has come under some strain as Israeli officials decry the deal reached between Iran, the U.S. and its international partners.

“We have to make a decision as to, given the options available, what is the best way for us to assure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon?” the president continued. “And the best way for us to assure it is for us to test this [diplomatic] path, understanding it is not based on trust. It’s based on what we can verify.”

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This article was posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 7:15 am

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