Obama American University Address on Iran Nuclear Deal
U.S. President Barack Obama is vigorously defending the international accord to restrain Iran's nuclear program by saying it "cuts off all of Iran's pathways to a bomb."
"It is a very good deal," Mr. Obama said Wednesday in an address at American University in Washington.
He said if the pact is implemented, "that would be good for Iran. It would be good for the United States. It would be good for a region that has known too much conflict. It would be good for the world."
He urged Americans to call skeptical lawmakers in the U.S. Congress to urge them to approve the pact when they vote on it next month.
The deal would bar Tehran from building a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifting United Nations and Western sanctions that have hobbled Iran's economy.
Opponents say provisions to verify that Iran is complying with the accord are too weak.
Mr. Obama rebuffed such criticism, saying, "This is the strongest non-proliferation [agreement] ever negotiated."
Japan Expresses 'Serious Concern' Over US Spying Reports
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his "serious concern" over allegations the United States spied on senior Japanese government and business officials.
Prime Minister Abe also called for an investigation into the matter during a phone call with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, according to Japan's top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga.
Suga said Biden apologized for the matter, noting it has "stirred up debate in Japan." He did not say whether Biden specifically confirmed the spying.
Media whistleblower WikiLeaks last week published documents it says show the U.S. spied on 35 companies, government ministries, and individuals in Japan.
WikiLeaks said the intercepts related to topics such as U.S.-Japan relations, trade negotiations, and climate change strategy. It said the surveillance dates as far back as 2006, the first term of Prime Minister Abe.
In a statement late Tuesday, the White House said Biden used his phone call with Mr. Abe to reaffirm the United States' "strong commitment to the U.S.-Japan alliance and thanked Prime Minister Abe for his enduring partnership."