CBN News — President Barack Obama is defending the framework agreement with Iran in the face of tough criticism from Israel and its supporters.
He’s also facing stiff opposition from Capitol Hill where leading lawmakers say the deal is dangerous and should be scrapped.
Obama is calling the Iran deal a “once in a lifetime” opportunity, telling the New York Times, “This is our best bet by far to make sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.”
The agreement includes what the White House says would be unprecedented inspections and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities for at least 20 years. It would mean Iran will have to roll back its nuclear programs, dismantle equipment and make sure major plants are only for civilian use.
In exchange, economic sanctions against Iran will be lifted over time. There’s only one problem: the deal described by Washington is not the deal being described by Iran.
In fact, Iran has formally complained that the agreement the White House is selling to the world is not what was actually accepted by Iran in the talks.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that the deal threatens the survival of Israel.
He says he’s not opposed to a deal with Iran, but he is opposed to a plan that leaves its nuclear program in place and gives it a path to a nuclear bomb.
“I’m not trying to kill any deal. I’m trying to kill a bad deal,” Netanyahu said. “You say it’s an historic decision; it could be a historically bad deal because it leaves the pre-eminent terrorist state of our time with a vast nuclear infrastructure. Remember, not one centrifuge is destroyed. Thousands of centrifuges will be left spinning uranium.”
The White House plans an aggressive campaign to sell the deal to a skeptical Congress.
“Many, many details are unknown at this point. And so, I don’t know how anyone could really ascertain whether this is something good or bad yet for the American citizenry,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said.
“Until they stop their provocative behavior, I think we would be nuts to give them more money and more capability,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told CBS “Face the Nation.”
Obama vows that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on his watch. But Arab allies fear the White House deal will destabilize the region, creating a nuclear arms race.
The White House says an “international mechanism” will verify that Tehran doesn’t cheat on the agreement. That cannot be reassuring to Congress.
Both sides will now work to finalize the agreement by the end of June.
Report via CBN News