Iran is “over a year or so” away from developing a nuclear weapon and the United States remains committed to preventing that from happening, President Barack Obama told a reporter in an interview aired Thursday on Israeli television.
“Right now, we think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but obviously we don’t want to cut it too close, and what we’re going to be doing is to continue to engage internationally with Iran,” Obama said, adding that his communication with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the topic is ongoing.
“So, what I’m consulting (on) with Bibi as I have over the last several years on this issue, my message to him is the same as before: If we can resolve it diplomatically, that’s a more lasting solution, but if not I continue to keep all options on the table,” Obama said.
Reuters in New York
- guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 25 September 2012 07.22 EDT
Barack Obama will warn Iran that the US will “do what we must” to prevent it acquiring a nuclear weapon, and appeal to world leaders for a united front against further attacks on US diplomatic missions in Muslim countries.
Preparing to take the podium on Tuesday at the UN six weeks before the US presidential election, Obama hopes to counter criticism of his foreign policy record by Republican rival Mitt Romney, who has accused him of mishandling the Arab uprisings, damaging ties with Israel and not being tough enough on Iran.
Seeking to step up pressure on Iran, Obama will tell the UN general assembly there is still time for diplomacy but that “time is not unlimited”.
His tough talk appears aimed at easing Israeli concerns about US resolve to curb Tehran’s nuclear drive, as he reasserts before the world body that he will never let Iran develop an atomic bomb and then simply contain the problem.
The President’s strong record on Israel
President Obama’s commitment to the state of Israel has never wavered. That was reaffirmed earlier this week when he and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had an hour-long conversation in which they reiterated their shared commitment to addressing the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, and pledged to stay in close consultation. Take a look at this video of Israeli President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak talking about the President’s unprecedented level of support for Israel, then share it with your friends:
The news is moving fast today. The first item on Mitt Romney‘s calendar is to make a statement on Libya. Appearing on “Morning Joe,” Author Joe Klein (Time Magazine) was asked why would Bibi Netanyahu would involve himself in American politics. Klein responded, “Romney is on record saying that he’ll farm out our foreign policy (if elected) to Bibi Netanyahu.” The other day at the convention it was made clear that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have no foreign policy experience and cannot rely of their experiences with business travel. I am instructed that the current stage of man’s history will close in a world war in which Israel will be attacked with nuclear weapons by a coalition including Iran, Russia and China led by the Anti-Christ. The Bible (Revelation) gives a lot of events that have to happen before the war can take place. I don’t it all can happen by December 21, 2012 as the Mayan’s predicted.
Breaking from Newsmax.com
Obama Won’t Meet Netanyahu; PM Says US Loses ‘Moral Right’ to Stop Attack
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said the United States had forfeited its moral right to stop Israel taking action against Iran’s nuclear program because it had refused to be firm with Tehran itself.
At the same time, according to Israeli officials, the White House rejected a request by Netanyahu to meet President Barack Obama in the United States this month. An Israeli official said aides were told Obama’s schedule will not permit a meeting when Netanyahu visits the United Nations this month.
Netanyahu has met with Obama on all the Israeli leader’s U.S. trips since 2009.
Earlier, in comments which appeared to bring the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran closer, Netanyahu took the Obama administration to task after Washington rebuffed his own call to set a red line for Tehran’s nuclear drive.
“The world tells Israel, ‘Wait, there’s still time’. And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?'” said Netanyahu.
“Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” he added, addressing a news conference with Bulgaria’s prime minister.
Netanyahu has been pushing Obama to adopt a tougher line against Iran, arguing that setting a clear boundary for Iran’s uranium-enrichment activities and imposing stronger economic sanctions could deter Tehran from developing nuclear weapons and mitigate the need for military action.
But on Monday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would not set a deadline in further talks with Iran, saying there was still time for diplomacy to work.
Netanyahu’s comments came as diplomats said six world powers, including the United States, were poised to voice “serious concern” about Iran’s uranium enrichment program and to urge Tehran to open up access to suspected nuclear sites.
Netanyahu has had a strained relationship with Obama over Iran and other issues, such as Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank.
But he has never put differences with Obama — who has pledged he will “always have Israel’s back” — in the context of morality.
Iran, which denies it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, has threatened to retaliate against Israel and U.S. interests in the Gulf if it attacked, and Obama’s re-election bid could be thrown off course by a new war.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney has accused Obama of throwing Israel “under the bus.”
Without mentioning Clinton by name, but pointedly parroting her use of the word “deadline,” Netanyahu said not setting a clear boundary for Iran would only encourage Iran to continue its quest for nuclear arms.
“If Iran knows that there is no deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it’s doing. It’s continuing, without any interference, towards obtaining a nuclear weapons capability and from there, nuclear bombs,” he said.
Widely thought to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, Israel says a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to its existence.
© 2012 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
DAILY KOS BLOG
Bibi Netanyahu told Vanity Fair
“I remember him [Romney] for sure, but I don’t think we had any particular connections, I knew him and he knew me, I suppose.”~Bibi Netanyahu, July 2012 in Vanity Fair Interview, (middle of Page 4)
But, to hear the pathological liar, Mitt Romney, tell it the two were as thick as thieves (no pun intended) while they both worked at Bain Consulting Group in the 1970s (not to be confused with Bain Capital.)
Romney to the New York Times:
ROMNEY: “We [Mitt & Netanyahu] can almost speak in shorthand. We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar.”
Sharp wits among the lively Iranian global diaspora maintain that the Supreme Leader is the perfect US/Israel asset – as he incarnates Iran as “the enemy” (although in most cases in a much less strident way than Ahmadinejad).
| Drums of war:
The US media and the ‘Iranian threat’
The ultimate loser, voices of the diaspora sustain, is true Iranian democracy – as in the foundation for the country’s ability to resist empire. Especially now, after the immensely dodgy 2009 presidential election and the repression of the Green movement. Even former supporters swear the Islamic Republic is now neither a “republic” – nor “Islamic”.
For their part, another current of informed Iranian – and Western – critics of empire swear that the belligerent Likud-majority government of Israel is in fact the perfect Iranian asset. After all, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and former Moldova bouncer turned Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s non-stop warmongering tends to rally Iranians of all persuasions – always proudly nationalistic – behind the flag.
The absolute majority of Iranians knows and feels they are targeted by a heavily weaponised foreign power – US/Israel. The leadership in Tehran has been wily enough to instrumentalise this foreign threat, and at the same time further smash the Green movement. MORE