Obama hopes US-Israel ties improve after Iran deal sealed

US president says Israel is ‘family’ as Washington-Jerusalem are to continue talks to improve relations after nuclear deal debate is over

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Obama expects US-Israel relations to get back on track

US President Barack Obama on Friday reassured the strength of ties between United States and Israel, as the relations between the two countries have been mainly disrupted by the Iranian nuclear deal.

"Like all families, sometimes there are going to be disagreements, and sometimes people get angrier about disagreements in families than with folks that aren't family." Obama said during a webcast hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and The Jewish Federations of North America.

“Even on this particular issue of Iran, we agree more than we disagree,” Obama said

"As soon as this particular debate is over, my hope is that the Israeli government will immediately want to rejoin conversations that we started long before about how we can continue to improve and enhance Israel's security in a very troubled neighborhood," he added.

Obama informed that Washington and Israel have been negotiating for months to get back on with security talks, which are to concern next-generation missile defense and improved intelligence.

Since the beggining of talks between the six world powers - United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, China, France and the US - and Iran, Israel has strongly campaigned against a nuclear deal.

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called on Jewish-Americans to stand together against the deal, which has divided the community. Netanyahu has many times voiced his concerns about the deal, arguing it is far from curbing Iran’s nuclear projects.

Israel is believed to be the only Middle Eastern country that has a nuclear arsenal.

Iran and the six world powers had in April agreed on a framework deal on curbing Iran’s nuclear programme before announcing a comprehensive agreement on July 14.

According to the agreement, Iran will have to redesign, convert and reduce its nuclear facilities.

In return, all nuclear-related economical sanctions, that have long been crippling the country’s economy, will be lifted by the western powers. 

The nuclear deal is being reviewed by US Congress and the legislative body has until Sept.17 to ratify or reject it.

With Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, the House and Senate are expected to turn down the deal. But if Senate Democrats manage to collect 41 votes in support of the deal, they could prevent the passage of the disapproval resolution. Obama is expected to veto the disapproval resolution if it passes.  

Senate Republicans need 13 Democrats to vote against the deal override Obama's veto, assuming all Republicans vote to block the deal. 

However, there are a few things Obama can do if Congress rejects the landmark nuclear deal. He could interrupt some US sanctions and issue new orders to allow financial transactions. He could also work with the Europeans and get Iranian banks off the sanctions list, allowing them to again be part of the global financial system.

TRTWorld and agencies