Obama defends Iran deal, criticizes ‘tough talks’

The U.S. president says ‘huge challenges’ remain regarding Iran

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President Barack Obama on Monday defended his administration’s approach to Iran, insisting that “tough talk” alone would not guarantee U.S. security, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Huge challenges remain, but we cannot close the door on diplomacy, and we cannot rule out peaceful solutions to the world’s problems,” AFP quoted Obama as saying following the breakthrough accord on Sunday in Geneva.

“We cannot commit ourselves to an endless cycle of violence, and tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right thing for our security,” he added.

Top Republicans have criticized Obama for agreeing to the accord, which the United States and its partners say will prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

U.S. ally Israel also dubbed the deal as a “historic mistake.”

Obama has long been criticized for his desire to engage with U.S. foes. As a presidential candidate in 2008, the former Illinois senator took heat for saying he would talk to Iran, which has not had diplomatic relations with Washington for decades, according to Reuters.

If Tehran follows the agreement, Obama said, it would chip away at years of mistrust with the United States.

(With AFP and Reuters)