The administration of President Barack Obama is not negotiating a good deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, though it might benefit the president as he faces criticism over the issue, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax TV's
While he didn't expect Iran to be able to develop nuclear weapons in the remaining two years of Obama's presidency, Dershowitz said his fear was Iran could become a "threshold nuclear state which would enable them to have operational nuclear weapons shortly after the Obama administration is ended."
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"The deal that the administration has on the table, that they hope Iran will accept, and [the] president says, maybe 50-50, 40-60, it's not a good deal. It may be a good deal to protect the Obama administration from the accusation that it will allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons on its watch.
"The deal does not prevent Iran, even if they accept it, from developing warheads. They can continue to develop their missiles, which are marked 'Death to Israel, Death to America,'" Dershowitz said Friday.
Obama warned lawmakers in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday that he would veto new sanctions against Iran, and Speaker of the House John Boehner announced on Wednesday he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress over the danger of Iran's capability to produce nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu's upcoming visit surprised the White House, and an administration spokesman announced on Thursday Obama would not meet with the prime minister during his trip. The address will be two weeks before an election in Israel, where Netanyahu hopes to win re-election.
Dershowitz said the decision not to meet with Netanyahu was "seen as a diss" that would hinder relations with Israel, which he called America's only "secure, reliable ally in the Middle East."
"No matter who's elected in Israel, everybody knows that Israel will remain a staunch ally of the United States. It will provide extraordinary technological intelligence and other kinds of assistance. It's mutual, obviously. Israel is supported by the United States, as well," he said.
The issue put Congress in a "great constitutional struggle" as it attempted to "flex its muscles" with the White House over who controlled foreign policy, Dershowitz said, adding both Republicans and Democrats thought "Congress has a major role in input in the treaties."
"It seems to me that Congress has the better of this — that separation of powers and checks and balances. And, the constitutional authority, which is shared, about making foreign policy is well-served when you have Congress taking one position, the president taking another position, and let it be resolved by the constitutional methods," he said.
The coup in Yemen on Thursday, a country the Obama administration had previously touted as a foreign policy success, would create further "unpredictability" and "uncertainty" in the Middle East, Dershowitz said, though he anticipated the region would see a "stable transition" in Saudi Arabia after the death of King Abdullah on Thursday.
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