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Obama: Military Strike on Iran Won't Stop Nuke Program


JERUSALEM, Israel -- A negotiated deal, not a military strike, would halt Iran's nuclear program, President Barack Obama told Israel's Channel 2.

"I can, I think, demonstrate, not based on any hope but on facts and evidence and analysis, that the best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is a verifiable, tough agreement," Obama said.

He added that a military solution would only "slow down" its program.

"A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program, but it will not eliminate it," he said.

Obama tried to calm a skeptical Israeli public when he said he understood their concerns and fears. The interview also seemed designed to oppose the stance of the Netanyahu government.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated the current deal being negotiated by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would not stop, but actually pave the way for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb.

The proposed deal would freeze Iran's nuclear program for a decade in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

Obama's remarks come with the deadline for an Iranian deal less than 30 days away. Negotiations are scheduled to wrap up on June 30.

In the meantime, a siren sounded late Tuesday morning throughout most of Israel as part of a five-day nationwide drill. It's the eighth annual drill to prepare for the possibility of a mult-front war.

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