US has sharp differences with Israel on Iran: Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama Monday said he has sharp differences with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the nuclear peace negotiations with Iran, asserting he wants to give diplomacy a chance before thinking about other options which are not attractive for either America or Israel.
Washington: US President Barack Obama Monday said he has sharp differences with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the nuclear peace negotiations with Iran, asserting he wants to give diplomacy a chance before thinking about other options which are not attractive for either America or Israel.
"I don't want to be coy. The Prime Minister and I have a very real difference around Iran's sanctions," Obama told reporters at a White House news conference along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"I have been very clear -- Angela agrees with me, and (British Prime Minister) David Cameron agrees with me, and the others who are a member of the negotiations agree that it does not make sense to sour the negotiations a month or two before they're about to be completed and we should play that out. If, in fact, we can get a deal, then we should embrace that," Obama said in response to a question.
"If we can't get a deal, then we'll have to make a set of decisions and, as I've said to Congress, I'll be the first one to work with them to apply even stronger measures against Iran. But what's the rush?" Obama asked in an apparent reference to the sharp differences he has with Netanyahu on Iranian sanctions.
"Unless your view is that it's not possible to get a deal with Iran and it shouldn't even be tested. And that, I cannot agree with, because as the President of the United States, I'm looking at what the options are if we don't get a diplomatic resolution. And those options are narrow, and they're not attractive," he asserted.
Responding to a question, Obama said there has been serious discussion with Iran on its nuclear programme.
"That time has been well spent. During this period of time, issues have been clarified, gaps have been narrowed, the Iranians have abided by the agreement, so this is not a circumstance in which by talking they've been stalling and meanwhile advancing their programme," he said.
"To the contrary, what we know is the programme has not only been frozen, but with respect to, for example, 20 per cent enriched uranium, they've reversed it, and so we're in a better position than we were before the interim programme was set up," he said.
"Having said all that, the issues now are sufficiently narrowed and sufficiently clarified, where we're at a point where they need to make a decision.
"We are presenting to them in a unified fashion -- the P-5-plus-1, supported by a coalition of countries around the world, are presenting to them a deal that allows them to have peaceful nuclear power but gives us the absolute assurance that is verifiable that they are not pursuing a nuclear weapon," he said.
"What they claim is true, which is they have no aspiration to get a nuclear weapon, that, in fact, according to their supreme leader, it would be contrary to their faith to obtain a nuclear weapon, if that is true, there should be the possibility of getting a deal. They should be able to get to yes," said the US president.