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Obama: Deal with Iran more likely now, still gaps

Monday, March 02, 2015 - 02:07

U.S. President Barack Obama says it's still ''more likely than not that Iran doesn't get to yes,'' but added that the U.S. was in a better position now to obtain a deal than several months ago. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday (March 2) that Iran should commit to a verifiable freeze of at least 10 years on its nuclear activity for a landmark atomic deal to be reached, but said the odds were still against sealing a final agreement. In an interview with Reuters at the White House, Obama said that a rift over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress opposing the Iran deal on Tuesday was a distraction that would not be "permanently destructive" to U.S. Israeli ties. But he said there was a "substantial disagreement" between his administration and the Israeli government over how to achieve their shared goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. "If, in fact, Iran can accept terms that would ensure a one year break out period for 10 years or longer, and during that period we know Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon, we have inspectors on the ground that give us assurances that they're not creating a covert program, why would we not take that deal when we know the alternatives -- whether through sanctions or military actions -- will not result in as much assurance that Iran's not developing a nuclear weapon?" Obama asked. Israel fears that Obama's Iran diplomacy, with an end-of-March deadline for a framework nuclear agreement, will still allow its arch-foe to develop an atom bomb. Tehran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons.

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Obama: Deal with Iran more likely now, still gaps

Monday, March 02, 2015 - 02:07