Politics & Policy

Obama on Netanyahu Speech: ‘Nothing New,’ No ‘Viable Alternative’

President Obama engaged in an 11-minute rebuttal of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu’s speech from the White House on Tuesday afternoon, saying the prime minister said “nothing new” and offered no “viable alternatives” to a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

The clearly-peeved president took the time to lay out a detailed response to Netanyahu’s push for Congress to reject a nuclear deal with the Iranian theocracy — which he did not watch.

“I did have a chance to look at the transcript, and as far I can tell there was nothing new,” Obama said, claiming that America and Israel agree that Iran is a threat to both their countries.

“But on the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon — which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region — the prime minister didn’t offer any alternatives,” he said.

“I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal than a bad deal,” Obama continued. “But if in fact we are successful in negotiation, this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Nothing else comes close. Sanctions won’t do it. Even military action would not be as successful as the deal that we have put forward.” 

“And I think it’s important not to be the distracted by the nature of the Iranian regime’s ambitions when it comes to territory or terrorism — all issues that we share a concern about,” he said, implicitly accusing the Israeli prime minister of doing so.

“Prime minister Netanyahu has not offered any kind of viable alternative that would achieve the same verifiable mechanism to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” Obama said. 

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