US president says PM will not succeed in using Congress to defeat the deal; Kerry: Israel ‘is safer’ thanks to agreement, noting critics of deal ‘never offer a realistic alternative’.US President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended the agreement reached with Iran over its nuclear program, making it clear that the purpose of the deal was simply to prevent the Islamic Republic from attaining nuclear weapons – not to curb its global power.

Congress still needs to sign off on the deal, which could result in a fierce battle in the legislature. In an exclusive New York Times interview, Obama said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “perhaps thinks he can further influence the congressional debate” but that he was confident the agreement would be approved. FULL REPORT