Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s anticipated efforts to lobby Congress to derail the Iranian nuclear agreement will fail, US President Barack Obama told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman on Tuesday.
The president spoke to Friedman as part of his public relations campaign to rally support for the Iran agreement, which has been subject to scathing criticism from the Israeli government and its sympathizers in the United States.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu would prefer, and many of the critics would prefer, that [Iran] doesn’t even have any nuclear capacity,” Obama told The New York Times. “But really, what that involves is eliminating the presence of knowledge inside of Iran.”
“Nuclear technology is not that complicated today, and so the notion that the yardstick for success was now whether they ever had the capacity possibly to obtain nuclear weapons — that can’t be the yardstick,” Obama said. “The question is, Do we have the kind of inspection regime and safeguards and international consensus whereby it’s not worth it for them to do it? We have accomplished that.”