Obama, Netanyahu discuss Iran nuclear deal

2013-11-25 07:26
Barack Obama. (Brendan Smialowski, AFP)

Barack Obama. (Brendan Smialowski, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - US President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to discuss an international nuclear deal with Iran that has threatened to raise tensions between the close allies, the White House said.

Just hours after the six world powers clinched the historic agreement with the Islamic republic, Netanyahu lashed out at what he called a "historic mistake" that left open Iran's ability to develop a nuclear arsenal.

But the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5+1 involved in the talks hailed it as a key first step that for now warded off the prospect of military escalation.

"The two leaders reaffirmed their shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," deputy White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One As Obama headed to the US West Coast.

"Consistent with our commitment to consult closely with our Israeli friends, the president told the prime minister that he wants the United States and Israel to begin consultations immediately regarding our efforts to negotiate a comprehensive solution."

Belligerent

Obama stressed that the P5+1 will seek to obtain a "lasting, peaceful and comprehensive solution that would resolve the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear programme," according to Earnest.

Israel and much of the West worry that Iran's nuclear programme serves as a guise for a weapons drive, while Tehran denies the claim and insists it is only for civilian purposes.

Tehran has a long history of belligerent statements towards the Jewish state, notably under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Israel has repeatedly warned that a nuclear Iran would pose an existential threat, refusing to rule out a preventative military strike on Iran's atomic infrastructure.

Some pro-Israel lawmakers in the US Congress have warned they plan to seek an additional round of sanctions when they return from their holiday recess next month.

Earnest expressed concern over the possibility of further US sanctions but stopped short of saying Obama would veto such a bill from Congress.

"The concern is that, rather than capitalising on the diplomatic window that has opened up, doubling down on sanctions at this point would actually undermine the international coalition that we built," he said.

Limited

Earnest said Obama and Netanyahu agreed to keep in "close contact" over the deal.

"The president underscored that the United States will remain firm in our commitment to Israel, which has good reason to be sceptical about Iran's intentions," he added.

Secretary of State John Kerry has also defended the accord, saying the agreement would blunt the threat and ultimately make the Jewish state more secure.

"You can't always start where you want to wind up," he said.

Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme for the next six months in exchange for limited sanctions relief, in a preliminary accord meant to lay the foundations for a comprehensive agreement later this year.

The deal was reached in marathon talks in Geneva that ended on Sunday before dawn after protracted negotiations between Iran and the P5+1.

Read more on:    john kerry  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  barack obama  |  israel  |  us  |  iran  |  nuclear  |  iran nuclear programme

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.