President Obama Says Iran Nukes Deal ‘Good for Israel’ at Hollywood Fundraiser

President Obama Says Iran Nukes Deal 'Good for Israel' at Hollywood Fundraiser

Getty Images

President tells guests at the home of Haim Saban that negotiations could prevent military conflict

President Barack Obama hit back at critics of a controversial nuclear deal with Iran during a Monday night fundraising appearance in Hollywood.

The move to ease sanctions in return for the Middle Eastern country agreeing to temporarily halt its nuclear program has been slammed by the likes of  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the president said it was a necessary step to protect the United States and its allies.

“It's good for our allies,” Obama said, according to a press pool report. “It's good for Israel.”

The president defended the deal, which his administration hopes could ultimately result in Iran accepting restrictions on its nuclear program, during remarks at the home of Saban Capital Group CEO Haim Saban, his wife Cheryl Saban, and 120 attendees including Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and Paul Reiser.

Saban, an Egyptian-born Israeli-American media mogul, has been an important ally for Obama on his Middle Eastern policies, and penned an opinion piece in the New York Times in 2012 that hit back at Republican standard bearer Mitt Romney's claims that the president had thrown Israel “under the bus.”

Also read: ‘Homeland’ Iran Plot Parallels Real Life, With a More Complex Strategy to ‘Break the Logjam’

During his talk, Obama stressed that diplomacy was working, saying, “as a consequence of the strength of those sanctions and the painstaking diplomacy that we engaged in, Iran ultimately came to the table and said, we are prepared in a serious way to negotiate around our nuclear program — for the first time in over a decade.”

He said he is hopeful that Secretary of State John Kerry and others can reach an agreement with Iran that will end the prospect that the country's ambitions to acquire a weapon of mass destruction could  trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Most importantly, he argued that it could avoid having the United States get mired in another foreign war at a time when it is ending protracted military engagements in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I don't take any options off the table as commander-in-chief when it comes to the security of the United States or our allies,” Obama said. ” And I've also said we cannot accept Iran having a nuclear weapon.  But I spend too much time at Walter Reed, looking at kids, 22, 23, 24, 25 years old, who've paid the kind of price that very few of us in this room can imagine on behalf of our freedom not to say I'm going to do every single thing that I can to try to resolve these issues without resorting to military conflict.”

  • school

    After a recent encounter with Garcetti's office, and now this, I am regretful that I advocated so much for him during the local election. I've learned a life lesson recently that the obvious wolf is better than the wolf in lamb's clothing. Look for other red flags too like cheap ploys of invoking children and/or sticking perceived good guy Tom Hanks in the mix.

  • http://www.twitter.com/changeirannow Change Iran Now

    Let’s not forget PM Chamberlain appeasing Hitler and saying to the Brits that he “brought home peace for our time” and that “you can go home now and sleep peacefully in your beds”. That entire Chamberlain's peace agreements with Hitler did was to allow Hitler more time to build up his war machine and to invade the rest of Europe. As we all know, Hitler then waged a bombing campaign upon Briton with
    such ferocity that nobody could “sleep peacefully in their beds”