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Obama reiterates US stance on Iran before meeting Israeli PM Netanyahu

 President Barack Obama addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference opening plenary session in Washington, Sunday...
 In this photo released by the Israeli government Press office, Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, meets with U.S President Barack Obama in Washing...

Obama

President Barack Obama addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference opening plenary session in Washington, Sunday...

Mideast Israel Obama

In this photo released by the Israeli government Press office, Israeli President Shimon Peres, left, meets with U.S President Barack Obama in Washing...

US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, heading into their meeting Monday at the White House, are emphasizing agreement over how to confront Iran’s nuclear program, even as Obama warned against “too much loose talk of war.” Addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the biggest pro-Israel organization in the US, Obama reiterated Sunday that he takes “no options off the table” to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon. “Iran’s leaders should know that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Obama said. “I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.” But Obama said that he did not believe a strike would serve the interests of either the US or Israel. “Already, there is too much loose talk of war,” Obama said. “Over the last few weeks such talk has only benefited the Iranian government by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on to fund their nuclear program.” “Now is not the time for bluster,” Obama said. Obama didn’t set out a definitive line in Iran’s nuclear program that would trigger a US attack. Tense Relations Obama and Netanyahu, who have a history of tense relations, are set to hold a late-morning meeting at the White House followed by lunch. They didn’t schedule a joint press conference, a common event for such visits. The two leaders have been at odds since the start of Obama’s presidency. Soon after taking office, Obama pushed Israel to freeze construction of Jewish settlements in Palestinian areas, in an effort to restart peace talks. Netanyahu has been approving more. Last November, journalists at the G-20 summit in France overheard a Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy discussing Netanyahu. Obama acknowledged Sarkozy’s dislike for Netanyahu by saying, “I have to deal with him even more often than you.” Obama, in an interview with the Atlantic magazine published last week, said he and Netanyahu have a “very functional” relationship. Netanyahu, who was in Ottawa before heading to Washington, “appreciated” Obama’s underscoring Israel’s right to defense itself, but he didn’t comment on Obama’s position that more time is needed for international sanctions and diplomatic pressure to convince Iran to abandon its nuclear program permanently. The US and the European Union tightened economic sanctions following a Nov 8 report by United Nations inspectors that Iran’s nuclear research program may include pursuing the capability to build a nuclear weapon. Israeli President Shimon Peres, addressing the AIPAC before Obama spoke, said there is no disagreement between Israel and the U.S. on the goal of stopping Iran’s from building nuclear arms. “Our message is clear: Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon,” Peres said.


Updated : 2021-07-28 23:16 GMT+08:00