In an appearance sponsored by
"If we could create an option in which Iran eliminated every single nut and bolt of their
"But I want to make sure everybody understands it – that particular option is not available. So as a consequence, what we have to do is make a decision as to, given the options available, what is the best way for us to [ensure] Iran does not get a nuclear weapon?"
Obama said the likelihood of a successful final deal with Iran was no greater than 50%.
Negotiators from six world powers signed an interim deal with the Islamic Republic two weeks ago that will open the way for difficult negotiations over the next six months to try to ensure that Tehran is not able to reach a bomb-making capability.
The deal gives Iran limited relief from tough economic sanctions over the next six months in exchange for curbs intended to ensure that Tehran cannot advance its nuclear capability while the final negotiations are underway.
Obama is struggling to sell the deal in the face of strong resistance from
Congress may adopt new sanctions in the coming weeks that Obama fears could destroy the fragile diplomacy before negotiations resume.
Iran says its nuclear program is solely for energy and medical uses.