Obama: I've Done More Than Any Other President To Strengthen Israel's Security; Netanyahu Is Wrong


President Obama says he deeply shares a commitment to friend and ally Israel, but Prime Minister Netanyahu is "wrong."

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: No one can blame the Israelis for having any skepticism about making agreements with a government like Iran's, which includes leaders who have denied the Holocaust...

In such a dangerous neighborhood, Israel has to be vigilant, and it insists it cannot depend on any other country, even it's great friend the United States, for its own security.

So we have to take seriously concerns in Israel.

The fact is, partly due to American military and intelligence assistance, which my administration has provided at unprecedented levels, Israel can defend itself against any conventional danger, whether from Iran directly or from its proxies.

On the other hand a nuclear armed Iran changes that equation. That's why this deal must be judged by what it achieves on the central goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal does exactly that.

I say this as someone who is done more than any other president to strengthen Israel's security. I have made clear to their government that we are prepared to discuss how we can deepen that cooperation further.

We have held talks with Israel on concluding another 10 year plan for U.S. security assistance to Israel.

We can in enhance missile defense, information sharing, interdiction, all to help meet Israel's rising security needs. And to provide a hedge against any additional activity that Iran may engage in as a consequence of sanctions relief.

But I have also listened to the Israeli security establishment, which warned of the danger posed by a nuclear armed Iran for decades.

They helped develop many of the ideas that led to this deal. Two friends of Israel, and to the Israeli people, I say this. A nuclear armed Iran is far more dangerous to Israel, to America, and to the world then and an Iran that benefits from sanctions relief.

I recognize that prime minister Netanyahu disagrees strongly. I do not doubt his sincerity. I believe he is wrong. I believe the facts support this deal. I believe they are in American interests and Israeli. It would be the abbrigation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.

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