Iran sanctions can’t go on forever, Obama tells Israeli media
US President Barack Obama says anti-Iran sanctions cannot continue forever.
In a Friday interview with Israel’s Channel 2 aired on Tuesday, Obama said Israel’s policies in the region are driven by “fear”.
“I think Prime Minister Netanyahu is somebody who’s predisposed to think of security first; to think perhaps that peace is naïve; to see the worst possibilities as opposed to the best possibilities,” he was quoted as saying.
“And so I do think that, right now, those politics and those fears are driving the government’s response.”
His remarks were in part a response to a campaign waged by Bibi to hamper a nuclear deal between Tehran and the six global powers, including the United States, which would put an end to sanctions imposed on Iran.
The US president said the sanctions cannot be maintained forever, ruling out a military solution to the standoff.
He further referred to the Israelis’ “fears” and “concerns”, claiming, “A military solution will not fix it, even if the United States participates. It would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it would not eliminate it.”
Obama said “a verifiable, tough, agreement” would be the best way to address Iran’s nuclear program.
Israel has repeatedly threatened Iran with a military strike, falsely claiming that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.
Tehran and the P5+1 member states, which also includes Russia, Britain, France, China, and Germany, have been engaged in tough negotiations over the matter and have until July 1 to clinch a comprehensive nuclear agreement.