US President Barack Obama is delivering a live address to the American public, urging them to support the recently-signed deal with Iran over its nuclear program – and to lobby their Members of Congress to vote for it at an upcoming vote.
On Tuesday, sources close to the President said he was planning to warn Americans that opposing the deal would be a "historic mistake."
Obama's remarks will be a response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who in a live webcast Tuesday urged American Jews to oppose the deal.
That same day, Obama met with some 20 prominent Jewish leaders and activists to outline the key points of his remarks and the reasons why he thinks they deal with Iran should receive their support, according to Haaretz.
The White House said that Obama described the deal as historic, and emphasized to the Jewish leaders that it would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. He also made it clear that the U.S. will continue to support and help strengthen Israel's security.
In his address on Wednesday, according to the White House official, Obama will stress the importance of the decision facing Congress, and label it as the most consequential debate in U.S. foreign policy since the decision to declare war on Iraq.
Obama "will make the case that this should not even be a close call – this deal has the most comprehensive inspections and transparency regime that we’ve ever negotiated," the senior official said.
The deal, added the official, "cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb, and includes a permanent prohibition on Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon."
The senior White House official noted that Obama will point out that the same people who oppose the nuclear deal with Iran now, supported going to war with Iraq. Obama will say that "it would be an historic mistake to squander this opportunity – removing constraints on the Iranian program, unraveling the sanctions regime, and damaging American credibility," he added.
Obama's public address is part of a PR-blitz advocating for the deal by the White House. It comes on the same day as an interview with Secretary of State John Kerry, in which Kerry – the US's lead negotiator with Iran – dismissed Israeli concerns as "emotional" and irrational.