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Iran Press TV

Military option against Iran will remain on table for years: Obama

Iran Press TV

Aug 21, 2015 8:24AM

US President Barack Obama has told the Republican-dominated Congress that the military option against Iran will remain on the table for several years, despite the Vienna nuclear agreement.

“Should Iran seek to dash toward a nuclear weapon, all of the options available to the United States — including the military option — will remain available through the life of the deal and beyond,” Obama wrote to Congress on August 19, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

“We have a wide range of unilateral and multilateral responses that we can employ should Iran fail to meet its commitments,” read the letter.

The letter obtained by the Times, addressed Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York. It was also aimed at other Democrats with concerns about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between the US, Iran and five other world powers in Vienna in mid-July.

Under the agreement, restrictions will be put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The US Congress is reviewing the Iran nuclear agreement and is likely to vote on it in September.

Most Republicans oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran, but they need a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress to override a possible presidential veto, and to reach that threshold, Republicans need Democratic support.

So far 26 Democratic senators have come out in favor of the accord. Only two Senate Democrats have so far opposed it.

Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill became the latest to declare her support on Thursday, saying that “it has become clear to me that the world is united behind this agreement with the exception of… Israel."

The announcement followed a similar declaration a day earlier from Senator Joe Donnelly, who said, "I am willing to give this agreement the opportunity to succeed."

In the letter, Obama also pledged to increase missile defense funding for Israel, accelerate co-development of missile defense systems, and boost tunnel detection and mapping technologies.

The agreement with Iran, he wrote, “is a very good deal for the United States, for the state of Israel, and for the region as a whole … No administration has done more for Israel’s security than mine.”

Last month, Obama pledged to increase US military aid package to Israel, which would include extra funding for the development of missile defense system, as well as another squadron of America’s fifth-generation aircraft, F-35 fighter jets.

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