WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Monday said it would be a “fundamental misjudgment” to demand Iran recognize Israel as part of a nascent nuclear deal.
In a drive to sell the deal to a hostile Congress, Obama told US radio network NPR that demands for Iran to recognize Israel go beyond the scope of the agreement.
“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,” he said.
“And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.”
Obama has said that Iran should stop threatening Israel and cease engaging in proxy wars around the Middle East, but has tried to separate concerns about Iran’s regional role from the tentative deal finalized Thursday.
“We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That’s exactly why we don’t want to have nuclear weapons.
“If suddenly Iran transformed itself to Germany or Sweden or France, then there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.”