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Washington: US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that the Iran nuclear agreement was the best way to avoid a nuclear arms race and more wars in the Middle East, urging Congress to approve the n-deal.

“Without a deal, there would be no limits to Iran’s nuclear programme and Iran could move close to a nuclear bomb,” Obama said during a press conference held at the White House. “Without a deal, we risk even more war in the Middle East,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.


While stressing that other countries in the region would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear weapons programmes, Obama defended the deal “is our best means of assuring that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon”.


Obama announced on Tuesday that a comprehensive long-term Iran nuclear deal has been reached between Iran and six world major countries, claiming it will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and makes US and the world “safer and more secure”.

The agreement is seen as a political triumph for Obama.

Republican lawmakers and US ally Israel, however, blasted the deal vehemently. Critics said Obama abandoned many of his goals set for the negotiations and made too much concessions to Tehran in striking such a deal.

“I’m hearing a lot of talking points being repeated,” Obama said. “What I haven’t heard is what is your preferred alternative?” He scolded the critics of deal, including Republicans in Congress and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for ignoring the facts of the deal.

“My hope is that everyone in Congress also evaluates this agreement based on the facts,” Obama said. “Not on politics. Not on posturing. Not on the fact that this is a deal that I bring to Congress, as opposed to a Republican president. Not based on lobbying.”

Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to approve the deal and threatened to veto any vote against it.

“I believe it would be irresponsible to walk away from the deal, but on such a tough issue, it is important that the American people and the representatives in Congress get a full opportunity to review the deal,” Obama said.

“I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies, so I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.”

US Congress has 60 days to review and vote on the Iran nuclear agreement. (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)