Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pilloried US President Barack Obama on his home turf over his government's talks with Iran, but the latter brushed off the criticism by stating that Netanyahu "did not offer a viable alternative."
Netanyahu made a strong speech to the US Congress on Tuesday against US' talks with Iran, even as US Secretary of State John Kerry was engaged in a discussion with Iran's Foreign Affairs Minister in Switzerland over a deal to limit Iran's nuclear activity while lifting economic sanctions.
"This deal has two major concessions. One, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program. Two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade," Netanyahu said. "That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb. It paves Iran's path to the bomb."
While the Israeli prime minister's speech elicited a standing ovation from Republicans, Obama retorted with equal sting, after having boycotted the speech along with other Democrats.
"I am not focused in the politics of this. I am not focused on the theater. As far as I can tell, there was nothing new," the US President said from the Oval Office.
"On the core issue, which is how to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which would make it far more dangerous, the prime minister did not offer any viable alternatives," he said.
Netanyahu had begun his speech saying that his address was not political, but warned of a 'nuclear arms race' if US went ahead with the deal.
"A deal that is supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet," Netanyahu warned.
Obama, however, said the deal was the best chance of preventing Iran's nuclear proliferation.
"We don't yet have a deal (with Iran). But if we are successful then, in fact, this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons," Obama said.