President Obama defends Iran deal amid criticism
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It took 20 months to negotiate and sign a nuclear deal with Iran. Now President Obama has 60 days to get Congress to sign it too.
His critics, worldwide, are calling it a bad deal, but he called reporters to the White House Wednesday to defend it.
He admits Iran can still cheat under the deal and try to make nuclear weapons, but he thinks if they do, the world will catch them.
Are more and more people read the deal, some are not so sure.
"Iran will not be in a position to develop a nuclear bomb. We will have met our number one priority," the president said.
But there are some who don't think it will do what the President hopes.
"I am not betting on the Republican Party rallying behind this agreement," he said.
There's a reason, even as the first national security briefings begin on the nuclear agreement with Iran even as Vice President Joe Biden heads to Capitol Hill to rally support.
"I'm confident they'll like it when they understand it," he said.
Republicans are criticizing a deal they say does too much to help Iran by lifting economic sanctions without getting enough oversight in return.
"They're the ones that are out celebrating right now because they got everything and basically we got nothing," said Representative Matt Salmon of Arizona.
But President Obama says walking away from this deal would unravel any sanctions, sanctions in place since the Bush Administration.
Congress has 60 days now to review the deal and vote whether to approve it.
President Obama is already threatening to ignore Congress, so Republicans would need some Democrats on their side to get the two-thirds vote needed to override his expected veto.
"I have reviewed the entire deal. Unfortunately, it's not as bad as I feared, it's much worse," said Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
"If we don't choose wisely, I believe future generations will judge us harshly for letting this moment slip away," Obama said.
In that news conference, the president also directly attacked the reaction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He calls the deal a historic mistake.
It's clear the president disagrees and is willing to do it publically, even to one of our closest allies.