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Obama Phones Israeli PM to Discuss Iran Deal

NEW JERSEY 101.5

The White House says President Barack Obama has phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss a tentative deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

 President Barack Obama waves to the photographers as he departs the White House
President Barack Obama waves to the photographers as he departs the White House (Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with Obama on Sunday that the United States looks forward to consulting with its ally Israel on international negotiations with Tehran. Earnest says the White House understands Israel’s skepticism about Iran’s intentions.

In an early morning announcement, Tehran agreed Sunday to a six-month pause of its nuclear program while diplomats continue talks aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu criticized the deal, calling it a “historic mistake” and saying he was not bound by the agreement.

Republicans in Congress wary of Iran nuclear deal

Republicans in Congress are skeptical about the Iran nuclear deal hammered out by the U.S. and world powers.

The agreement announced Sunday in Geneva commits Tehran to curb its nuclear activities for six months in exchange for limited and gradual reliefs from global economic penalties.

Sen. Marco Rubio says Iran isn’t required to suspend all enrichment work and he believes the deal “makes a nuclear Iran more likely.”

The Florida Republican sees “an even more urgent need” for Congress to impose even tougher penalties.

GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California, who leads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says the agreement lets Iran keep important parts of its nuclear weapon-making capability, yet the U.S. is the one “doing the dismantling” by easing sanctions.

Iranians cheer nuclear negotiators at airport

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (CNN)

Iran’s nuclear negotiators are back in Tehran.

They were greeted by hundreds of cheering supporters as they arrived late Sunday night.

The crowd, mostly young students, called both Iran’s foreign minister and its top nuclear negotiator “the Ambassador of Peace.”

The people chanted: “We are thankful in the capacity of eight years,” referring to the eight years of poor relations Iran had with the West under former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

They also chanted: “No to war, sanctions, surrender and insult.”

Tehran agreed Sunday to a six-month pause of its nuclear program while diplomats continue talks. International observers are set to monitor Iran’s nuclear sites as the West eases about $7 billion of the economic sanctions crippling the Islamic Republic.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told state television at the airport that the country was prepared for quick follow-up negotiations to keep the deal on track.

Both Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, and moderate President Hassan Rouhani supported the deal.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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