President Barack Obama acknowledged the opposition and challenges around the nuclear deal reached between several world powers and Iran during a press conference on Wednesday.
"This deal is not contingent on Iran changing its behavior. It’s not contingent on Iran suddenly operating like a liberal democracy," Obama said while taking reporters’ questions after giving a short statement about the national security interests of the deal.
"It solves one particular problem, which is making sure they don’t have a bomb," he said.
Later, Obama emphasized that the deal is not about celebrating and does not override the many pervasive issues still present in the Middle East, including several Americans being held in Iranian custody.
Perhaps going into the conference knowing that he’d be slogging through questions required Obama to be on the defensive and to focus on why he believes the deal is a crucial step. Rather than rhetoric labeling the move as a "bad deal," POTUS wants to know: "What is your preferred alternative?"
Pres Obama says he hopes Congress evaluates Iran nuke deal based on facts, not politics or posturing.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 15, 2015
On Twitter, many noted the stern tone the president set during the press conference.
Yes, Obama Presser Twitter is exactly what today needed— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) July 15, 2015
Jon Karl says he's going to ask Obama a political question. The president cuts him off after "Donald."— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) July 15, 2015
Major did his job. All presidents should get questions like this. https://t.co/VmMh3vBd4G— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) July 15, 2015
People are beginning to understand, I think, how much Obama wants this deal, and how good he thinks it is for the U.S. and its allies.— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) July 15, 2015
Eventually – and before POTUS invited additional questions about Iran in an unexpectedly long press conference – the conversation moved to other topical matters. Obama even addressed alleged sexual predator Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom.
BREAKING: Obama says there's no precedent for revoking Bill Cosby's Medal of Freedom.— The Associated Press (@AP) July 15, 2015
Tells me: He's thought about revoking it. Wow https://t.co/F7DwjgI8Y7— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) July 15, 2015
And then, Obama steered the conversation back toward the nuclear deal at the end of the presser by asking, "Have we exhausted Iran questions here?"
Obama didn't get through all his Iran talking points, so he throws open the floor at his press conference and takes shouted question.— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) July 15, 2015
This may be a first: President posing questions to himself at a news conference. #heythatsourjob— Susan Page (@SusanPage) July 15, 2015
You knew this day was coming -- Obama giving up on reporters and just asking himself the questions so he can get his points on Iran across.— Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) July 15, 2015
I would pay cash to be watching this with @davidplouffe— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) July 15, 2015