Obama: Chances for final Iran deal 50-50 or worse

President says he wasn't naive about the odds for a successful final agreement between world powers and Iran next year.
Associated Press
Dec 8, 2013

President Barack Obama said Saturday he believed the chances for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran are 50-50 or worse, yet defended diplomacy as the best way to prevent Tehran from acquiring atomic weapons.

During a question-and-answer session with a pro-Israel audience, Obama said he wasn't naive about the odds for a successful final agreement between world powers and Iran next year, building on the recent six-month interim deal.

"If you ask me what is the likelihood that we're able to arrive at the end state ... I wouldn't say that it's more than 50-50," Obama said. "But we have to try."

The president's remark was somewhat startling. Obama has tried to allay the fears of many Israelis and some Americans that his administration last month promised to ease economic pressure too much in return for too few Iranian concessions.

The comment nevertheless pointed to the difficult talks that await as the U.S. and its negotiating partners — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — work toward a final pact next year. The goal is to eliminate the possibility of Iran assembling a nuclear arsenal, even if any deal might let Iran continue enriching uranium at lower levels not easily convertible into weapons-grade material.

Obama said the six-month interim agreement halts and rolls back central elements of Iran's nuclear program, compelling Tehran to eliminate higher-enriched uranium stockpiles, stop adding new centrifuges and cease work at a heavy water reactor that potentially could produce plutonium. It also provides time to see if the crisis can be averted through negotiation.

"If at the end of six months it turns out we can't make a deal," Obama said, "we are no worse off." Sanctions against Iran will be fully reinstated and even tightened if Iran doesn't make a final agreement, he pledged.

Obama's appearance at the Brookings Institution forum appeared directed as much at an Israeli audience as an American one. The discussion was broadcast live on Israeli television, with analysts there viewing it as an effort to patch over Obama's public differences with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu, who was scheduled to address the same forum Sunday, has called the nuclear agreement in Geneva the "deal of the century" for Iran. In an appearance Friday, his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, repeated Israel's objections.

Obama acknowledged some "significant tactical disagreements" with Netanyahu, but said U.S. and Israeli bottom-line goals were the same.

Secretary of State John Kerry promised close consultation on next steps with the Jewish state, which includes a visit to Washington this coming week by Yossi Cohen, Netanyahu's national security adviser.

"We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon — period — not now, not ever," Kerry said. "I am convinced that we have taken a strong first step that has made the world and Israel safer."

Beyond Israel, Sunni Arab countries have expressed concerns about what America's Iran engagement might mean for the balance of power in the region with Shiite-dominate Iran. Saudi Arabian officials even have talked about their own potential nuclear ambitions.

Echoing Obama's effort to reach out to concerned allies, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel renewed a U.S. push for the sale of missile defense technology and other weapons systems to U.S.-friendly Gulf nations to counter the threat of Iranian ballistic missiles.

In a speech Saturday in Bahrain, Hagel made clear that any final deal on Iran's nuclear program wouldn't end the threat posed by a country the U.S. considers the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

On Mideast peace hopes, Obama echoed an optimistic assessment provided by Kerry during a trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories this past week.

The president said his administration had spent much time working with Netanyahu to understand Israel's security needs as part of any two-state solution.

"I think it is possible over the next several months to arrive at a framework that does not address every single detail but gets us to the point where everybody recognizes it's better to move forward than move backward," Obama said.

Still, he said tough decisions await both sides, including the Palestinians' understanding a transition period will be necessary so no situation arises similar to Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip after Israel's 2005 military pullout.

"The Israeli people cannot expect a replica of Gaza in the West Bank," Obama said. "That is unacceptable."

 

Comments

The Big Dog's back

If the Repubs have anything to do with it there will be no deal. Repubs love to have a boogeyman in the closet to keep everyone afraid.

Contango

You need to have your human take you out for more walks Dog. Your info is stale.

It ain't just the Repubs, many Dems are also against it.

"Together again: How Republicans and Democrats joined forces over Obama's Iran deal":

http://theweek.com/article/index...

"50/50"? Yea, that's the mark of a confident "leader."

wasthere

How about the independents? We think you are challenged too by reading your slanted posts daily.

Darwin's choice

Obama is already setting stage for back peddling, this is sure to be another failure by him on the world stage.

Contango

Re: "world stage."

In the private sector, the show woulda been cancelled after one wk.

AJ Oliver

The U.S. really needs to stop being a sock puppet for Isreal. Iran, often the target of aggression (like by the U.S. in 1954) has not invaded another country in over 200 years. They are not the threatener, but the threatenee.
1954, BTW was one of the crimes of the century.

KnuckleDragger

Ah yes, another post the resident racist/antisemite.

deertracker

Why can't anyone say anything about the Jews without the anti-semite card being played? People can say anything about anyone except Jewish people. America is not responsible for the holocaust and owe the Jewish people NOTHING! America does need to stop bowing down to Israel.

Contango

Re: "America does need to stop bowing down to Israel."

Last sentence in article:

"'The Israeli people cannot expect a replica of Gaza in the West Bank,' Obama said. 'That is unacceptable.'"

Reads like the POTUS is still in their pocket. Too bad for you.

deertracker

Only if you can't read!

Contango

Re: "Only,"

What do you think that statement means?

deertracker

Means you can't read dummy!DUH!!!!!!

Contango

Re: "Means,"

"'The Israeli people cannot expect a replica of Gaza in the West Bank,' Obama said. 'That is unacceptable.'"

So that statement means that Pres. Obama isn't supporting Israel?

Contango

Re: "The U.S. really needs to stop being a sock puppet for Isreal (sp)."

And yet the guilt-ridden liberals continually ask and wring their hands over the question of: Why didn't the U.S. do more to help the Jews during the Holocaust?

Once Iran gets a nuke, expect the House of Saud, the U.A.E. and others to have 'em in quick order.

And like burglar tools, expect 'em to eventually be used.

The Big Dog's back

"Why didn't the U.S. do more to help the Jews during the Holocaust?" Because our businessmen, including Prescott Bush, were still doing business with the Nazis, your idols.

grumpy

RE: " Because our businessmen, including Prescott Bush, were still doing business with the Nazis, your idols."

You mean like Joe Kennedy sr and jr? Many of the 'elites' of the time liked what Hitler was doing. It was the popular thing at the time for the elites that thought they were special. Much the same as today. Today they just keep it to themselves and don't advertise it as they did back then.

http://hnn.us/article/697

Like his father, Joe Jr. admired Adolf Hitler. Young Joe had come away impressed by Nazi rhetoric after traveling in Germany as a student in 1934. Writing at the time, Joe applauded Hitler's insight in realizing the German people's "need of a common enemy, someone of whom to make the goat. Someone, by whose riddance the Germans would feel they had cast out the cause of their predicament. It was excellent psychology, and it was too bad that it had to be done to the Jews. The dislike of the Jews, however, was well-founded. They were at the heads of all big business, in law etc. It is all to their credit for them to get so far, but their methods had been quite unscrupulous ... the lawyers and prominent judges were Jews, and if you had a case against a Jew, you were nearly always sure to lose it. ... As far as the brutality is concerned, it must have been necessary to use some ...."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Don't like this article? type in Joe Kennedy sr, or Prescot Bush, ... and jews or Hitler and you can find many articles on what the Kennedy's and Bush's both did with Hitler, and what they thought of him. Have a nice day!

The Big Dog's back

Your point being?? I said businessmen.

grumpy

RE: "I said businessmen."

Are you now claiming Joe Kennedy sr was NOT a businessman?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos....

Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy, Sr. (September 6, 1888 – November 18, 1969) was an American businessman, investor, and government official. Kennedy was an Irish American and was the father of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, United

The Big Dog's back

A political conservative (John F. Kennedy once described his father as being to "the right of Herbert Hoover"[49]) Kennedy supported Richard Nixon, who had entered Congress with John in 1947. In 1960 Kennedy approached Nixon, praised his anti-Communism, and said "Dick, if my boy can't make it, I'm for you" for the presidential election that year.

grumpy

Where did I say anything about what political party any Kennedy was in my earlier post? I simply showed that many American "elites" agreed with at least some if not much of what Hitler preached. Charles Lindbergh was another.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha...

Scroll down to race and racism. It was a common trait of the US "elites".

Lindbergh elucidated his beliefs about the white race in an article he published in Reader's Digest in 1939:

We can have peace and security only so long as we band together to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood, only so long as we guard ourselves against attack by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races.[134]

Because of his trips to Nazi Germany, combined with a belief in eugenics,[135] Lindbergh was suspected of being a Nazi sympathizer.

Lindbergh's reaction to Kristallnacht was entrusted to his diary: "I do not understand these riots on the part of the Germans," he wrote. "It seems so contrary to their sense of order and intelligence. They have undoubtedly had a difficult 'Jewish problem,' but why is it necessary to handle it so unreasonably?"[136] Lindbergh had planned to move to Berlin for the winter of 1938–39, after Kristallnacht, a time when many Americans reacted with revulsion at Nazi barbarism. He had provisionally found a house in Wannsee, but after Nazi friends discouraged him from leasing it because it had been formerly owned by Jews,[137] it was recommended that he contact Albert Speer who said he would build the Lindberghs a house anywhere they wanted. On the advice of his close friend the eugenicist Alexis Carrel, he cancelled the trip.[137]

In his diaries, he wrote: "We must limit to a reasonable amount the Jewish influence ... Whenever the Jewish percentage of total population becomes too high, a reaction seems to invariably occur. It is too bad because a few Jews of the right type are, I believe, an asset to any country."

The Big Dog's back

I was just pointing out that Kennedy was a CONservative businessman. Again, what's your point?

The Big Dog's back

And since when is CONservative a political party?

grumpy

RE: "And since when is CONservative a political party?"

http://home.conservativepartyusa...

http://www.cpnys.org/

http://americanconservativeparty...

You really are rather uneducated aren't you? Or are you just unaware?

The Big Dog's back

He didn't belong to a CONservative party. So, what's your point? 3rd request.

Darwin's choice

Old story....

Defer, Deflect, Deny.....democrat mantra..!

This is reality tonight, Sun. 12/08/2013....

Losing your insurance, thank a Democrat & Obama
Losing your Doctor, thank a Democrat & Obama
Paying higher insurance premiums, thank a Democrat & Obama
Forced to buy coverage you don't need, thank a Democrat & Obama
Paying higher deductibles, thank a Democrat & Obama
Losing access to your hospital, thank a Democrat & Obama
Paying higher co-pays, thank a Democrat & Obama
Receiving a lower standard of care, thank a Democrat & Obama
Paying higher taxes, thank a Democrat & Obama
Losing hours at work, thank a Democrat & Obama
Totally losing your job, thank a Democrat & Obama
and on and on and on, all lead by The Liar in Chief, Obama.

Give up dog.....

deertracker

Off topic, off topic off topic. Give it up Dagwood! Same song from you EVERYDAY! You are comical.

Contango

Re: "Prescott Bush, were still doing business with the Nazis,"

Business was conducted during the war?

Got some evidence?

deertracker

Are you scared pooh!? Your right hook will save you!

Contango

Re: "Are you scared,"

The Shiites and the Sunnis are locked in a decades long religious struggle.

When the residual fallout from a nuke exchange waifs over the U.S. remember to laugh.

deertracker

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

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