Obama's Attack on Iran Deal Critics Compares GOP Caucus to 'Death to America' Chanters
"If, as has also been suggested, we tried to maintain unilateral sanctions, beefen them up, we would be standing alone. We cannot dictate the foreign, economic and energy policies of every major power in the world. In order to even try to do that, we would have to sanction, for example, some of the world's largest banks. We'd have to cut off countries like China from the American financial system," he said. "And since they happen to be major purchasers of our debt, such actions could trigger severe disruptions in our own economy, and, by way, raise questions internationally about the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency. That's part of the reason why many of the previous unilateral sanctions were waived."
"What's more likely to happen should Congress reject this deal is that Iran would end up with some form of sanctions relief without having to accept any of the constraints or inspections required by this deal. So in that sense, the critics are right. Walk away from this agreement, and you will get a better deal -- for Iran."
Obama added that he wouldn't "mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon."
"I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously," he said. "But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant 'Death to America' does not mean that that's what all Iranians believe. In fact, it's those -- in fact, it's those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It's those hardliners chanting 'Death to America' who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican Caucus."
Obama said "when we carefully examine the arguments against this deal, none stand up to scrutiny."
"That may be why the rhetoric on the other side is so strident. I suppose some of it can be ascribed to knee-jerk partisanship that has become all too familiar, rhetoric that renders every decision made to be a disaster, a surrender. You're aiding terrorists; you're endangering freedom," he said, adding that opposing the deal out of "affinity" for Israel is a "more understandable motivation."
"Israel can defend itself against any conventional danger, whether from Iran directly or from its proxies," the president added.
"I recognize that Prime Minister Netanyahu disagrees, disagrees strongly" with the deal, Obama acknowledged. "I do not doubt his sincerity, but I believe he is wrong. I believe the facts support this deal. I believe they are in America's interests and Israel's interests, and as president of the United States it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally."
"...What separates us from the empires of old, what has made us exceptional, is not the mere fact of our military might."