News / Middle East

Obama: '50/50' Chance of Final Iran Deal, Defends Interim Plan

US President Barack ObamaUS President Barack Obama
x
US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama
Kent Klein
U.S. President Barack Obama and his top diplomat are seeking support for a recent temporary agreement to halt Iran's nuclear programs and U.S. efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

The president and Secretary of State John Kerry sought Saturday to convince critics and the Israeli government that recent diplomatic moves will not endanger Israel.

President Obama says he sees the chance of a final agreement on Iran's nuclear program as 50-50 (50 percent) or less.  But he sought to reassure critics that the latest deal will stop Iran from advancing its nuclear program for the next six months.

Obama said, "What we can achieve through a diplomatic resolution of this situation is, frankly, greater than what we could achieve with the other options that are available to us."

At the Saban Forum Saturday, the president said the deal rolls back key parts of Iran's nuclear program.

"To give us the time and the space to test whether they can move in a direction -  a comprehensive, permanent agreement that would give us all assurances that they're not producing nuclear weapons," said Obama.

Israel doubtful

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who says the agreement is too soft on Iran, speaks to the forum on Sunday.

Obama pledged that the United States will always defend Israel.

"We will not abide by any threats to our friends and allies in the region, and we've made that perfectly clear," said Obama. "And our commitment to Israel's security is sacrosanct, and they understand that."

At the same forum, Secretary of State Kerry said diplomacy is the best way to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran.

Kerry said, "I am convinced beyond any doubt that Israel becomes safer the moment this first-step agreement is implemented."

Kerry has just returned from talks with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  He said the U.S. is committed to helping to produce a Middle East peace agreement.

"Peace is possible today because we have courageous leaders who have already taken significant political risks for peace, and the time is approaching when they will have to take even more," said Kerry.

Obama optimistic

The president expressed similar optimism on the peace process.

Obama said, "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 a point where everybody recognizes that it's better to move forward than to move backward."

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

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid