Obama: Nuclear Deal Not Predicated on Iran Recognizing Israel

Obama tells NPR that conditioning a deal on a 'complete transformation' of the Iranian regime would be a 'fundamental misjudgment.'

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 31, 2015.
U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C., March 31, 2015.Credit: AFP

President Barack Obama on Monday poured cold water on an Israeli demand that a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran be predicated on Tehran recognizing Israel.

"The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won't sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms," Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR).

"That is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment," he said.

Obama told the New York Times on Monday that there is no better option to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon than the framework deal signed in Switzerland, in a statement he directed to the Israeli people.

"What we will be doing even as we enter into this deal is sending a very clear message to the Iranians and to the entire region that if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there," Obama told The Times' Thomas Friedman.

Ben Rhodes, the U.S. deputy national security adviser for strategic communication told two of Israel's top television stations in interviews broadcast synchronously that if Iran were to breach the agreement, President Barack Obama would consider all of the options for response – including military action.

"If Iran violates all options are on the table," Rhodes said. "The president, this president or the next president, will have all options on the table including military one. If there is a violation, all options will be considered."