Obama reassures Israeli PM over Iran n-deal

Posted By: IANS
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Washington, April 3: US President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the US was committed to ensuring that Iran obtained no nuclear weapon, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the framework nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers posed "a grave danger to Israel".

"The President emphasised that... the framework represents significant progress towards a lasting, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran's pathways to a bomb and verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme, going forward," a White House statement said, according to a Xinhua report.

Barack Obama

Netanyahu, however, expressed Israel's strong opposition to the world's framework nuclear agreement with Iran when speaking to Obama on Thursday, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said on Friday.

"A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel," Netanyahu said, adding that the deal would also "legitimise Iran 's nuclear programme, bolster Iran's economy, and increase Iran's aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond".

"Such a deal would not block Iran's path to the bomb. It would pave it," he added. "It would increase the risks of nuclear proliferation in the region and the risks of a horrific war".

Obama, however, underscored that progress on the nuclear issue did not diminish US concerns with respect to Iran's sponsorship of terrorism and threats towards Israel, the White House statement said, stressing that the US remained "steadfast in our commitment to the security of Israel".

According to the statement, Obama told Netanyahu that "he has directed his national security team to increase consultations with the new Israeli government about how we can further strengthen our long-term security cooperation with Israel and remain vigilant in countering Iran's threats".

Earlier on Thursday, Israel's Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the framework nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers was "far" from being real.

Obama had earlier hailed the "historic" framework deal between the P5+1 group of world powers -- the US, China, Russia, France, Britain, plus Germany -- and Iran, saying it met the "core objectives" of the US and that it would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.


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