U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the recent Iran nuclear deal during a news conference at the White House in Washington

Obama: Iran deal is only alternative to more Mideast war

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the recent Iran nuclear deal during a news conference at the White House in WashingtonBy Matt Spetalnick and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, seeking to sell the Iran nuclear deal to skeptical U.S. lawmakers and nervous allies, insisted on Wednesday the landmark agreement was the only alternative to a nuclear arms race and more war in the Middle East. Obama made his case in a nationally televised news conference responding to critics at home and abroad after Iran and six world powers sealed an accord in Vienna on Tuesday to restrict Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. “Without a deal,” Obama said, “there would be no limits to Iran’s nuclear program and Iran could move closer to a nuclear bomb … Without a deal, we risk even more war in the Middle East.” Obama, who must still overcome a congressional hurdle to enact the accord, said that if the United States does not seize the opportunity, “future generations will judge us harshly.” The agreement is a triumph for Obama, who has made outreach to America’s enemies a hallmark of his presidency, but it is also seen as his biggest foreign policy gamble since taking office in 2009.

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