Obama: Iran Deal 'Will Have My Name on It'
by Jerome Socolovsky May 22, 2015
President Barack Obama reaffirmed Friday the U.S. commitment to Israel's security and stressed that Iran must not 'under any circumstances be allowed to get a nuclear weapon.'
Obama, in speaking to one of Washington's largest synagogues Friday, said he "forcefully" objects to suggestions that policy differences between his administration and the Israeli government signal his lack of support for the longtime U.S. ally.
"That's not a true measure of friendship," Obama said during remarks to a crowd of about 1,200 gathered at Congregation Adas Israel.
On Iran, Obama said a framework agreement reached by Iran and world powers last month 'has already halted or rolled back parts of Iran's nuclear program.'
'Now we are seeking a comprehensive solution. I will not accept a bad deal. This deal will have my name on it, so nobody has a bigger personal stake in making sure that it delivers on its promise,' he said.
The Iran deal, he said, 'will have my name on it.'
Negotiators from Iran and a group that includes Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany have been working on the details of a final agreement to scale back Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. They are facing a June 30th deadline for a final deal.
Obama also addressed what he called a "deeply disturbing rise" in anti-Semitism around the world. He said the world knows from history that this is "not some passing fad" and should not be ignored.
The speech at the Washington, D.C., synagogue coincided with 'Solidarity Sabbath,' in which government officials in the U.S. and Europe are going to synagogues to show their support for Jewish communities on both sides of the Atlantic.
Seventy years after the Holocaust, a number of Jews have left or are considering leaving Europe because they fear for their safety. Jews have been bullied and beaten, and were targets of murder in the recent attacks by Islamist militants in Paris and Copenhagen.
"A speech by a U.S. president cannot stop Jews from making the assessment that it's not safe to be there for themselves or for their children, or their grandchildren," Jason Isaacson of the American Jewish Committee said in an interview.
But, Isaacson added, "the president can inspire and encourage European leaders to seize this issue and make it their own, and make the fight against anti-Semitism a fight to protect European values."
Obama's synagogue visit follows friction with Israel and some Jewish leaders over his strategy for a nuclear deal with Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticized it as weak.
Obama won large majorities of Jewish votes in both of his presidential elections, and Isaacson said the president has been seeking lately to reassure this traditionally Democratic voting bloc.
"I think the president sees all that, sees that there is an important constituency that he has in the American Jewish community," said Isaacson, who was part of a meeting Obama held with Jewish leaders last month in which the Iran deal and America's relationship with Israel were reportedly discussed.
"He wants to reach out to that community and reassure that community that he continues to take their concerns very seriously," Isaacson added.
Obama's visit is also intended to mark Jewish Heritage Month, which honors the contributions of Jews to American society and culture.
Some material for this report came from AP.
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