Brushing off his “chest-beating” critics, President Barack Obama accused opponents of the Iran nuclear deal Tuesday of being the same people who rushed the U.S. into an ill-fated war in Iraq. As he sought support for the deal from U.S. veterans, he said the deal’s foes were merely popping off soundbites that accomplish nothing.
Obama assumed a confident yet combative tone at the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ national convention in Pittsburgh, where he also said he was still not satisfied with the care being provided by Department of Veterans Affairs. He cast his decision to pursue diplomacy with Tehran as a move intended to avert the need to send U.S. troops into harm’s way with an eventual military strike against Iran’s nuclear program.
“The same politicians and pundits that are so quick to reject the possibility of a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program are the same folks who were so quick to go to war in Iraq and said it would only take a few months,” Obama said.
Obama’s 2008 campaign for president centered largely around his opposition to the Iraq War, as he railed against the policies of President George W. Bush. By invoking the Iraq war in the context of the Iran deal, Obama offered a window into the parallels he sees in his efforts to use diplomacy with Iran to avoid getting the U.S. further embroiled in Mideast conflicts.
Obama told the audience of veterans – some from the Iraq War – there was “a lot of shaky information out there” about the Iran deal. The White House has been mounting a massive outreach campaign to try to win over skeptics and avert a congressional attempt to scuttle the deal. On Tuesday, the White House created a new Twitter account, to make its case for the accord on social media.