The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

October 7, 2013

Obama: Iran 'year or more' from getting bomb

(Continued)

On the 12-year war in Afghanistan, Obama said he would consider keeping some American forces on the ground after the conflict formally ends next year, but acknowledged that doing so would require an agreement from the Afghan government. He suggested that if no agreement can be reached, he would be comfortable with a full pullout of U.S. troops.

"If in fact we can get an agreement that makes sure that U.S. troops are protected, makes sure that we can operate in a way that is good for our national security, then I'll certainly consider that," he said. "If we can't, we will continue to make sure that all the gains we've made in going after al-Qaida we accomplish, even if we don't have any U.S. military on Afghan soil."

All U.S. forces left Iraq at the end of 2011 after no deal could be reached to keep some there longer.

Obama, an avid sports fan, also weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Redskins as the name of Washington's NFL football team. The name has faced a new barrage of criticism for being offensive to Native Americans.

The president said he doesn't think Redskins' fans mean any offense by using the name. But he added: "If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they've had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I'd think about changing it."

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Associated Press writers Ian Deitch in Jerusalem and Ali Akbar Dareini in Tehran contributed.

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Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

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