In a lengthy interview over the weekend with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, President Obama laid out his own version of an Obama Doctrine: "We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities." Friedman's interview focused mostly on Iran, Israel, and how the landmark nuclear agreement hammered out between the U.S., Iran, and five other nations affects U.S. security and that of U.S. allies in the Middle East.
"We're not done yet," Obama said of the interim nuclear deal. "There are a lot of details to be worked out, and you could see backtracking and slippage and real political difficulties, both in Iran and obviously here in the United States Congress." But if Iran's nuclear weapons potential can be locked in a box for at least a decade or two, the U.S., its allies, and the world will be safer, he argued. And the U.S. should have enough self-confidence to take a few calculated gambles:
Watch the entire 45-minute interview or read more excerpts at The New York Times — Obama has messages for Iran, Israel, and Sunni Arab Gulf states — or watch Obama explain his main thesis below. —Peter Weber
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.