Israel has not made decision on Iran attack: Obama

Published: February 6, 2012
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'We're going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon', says Obama in an NBC interview. PHOTO: AFP

'We're going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon', says Obama in an NBC interview. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama said on Sunday that Israel has not yet decided how to respond to concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and said there was no evidence that Iran has the “intentions or capabilities” to wage attacks on US soil.

Asked in an NBC interview whether Israel was set to attack Iran, Obama said: “I don’t think that Israel has made a decision on what they need to do. I think they, like us, believe that Iran has to stand down on its nuclear weapons program,” adding Israel and the United States would work “in lockstep” on Iran.

Obama, who is up for re-election in November, has ended the US war in Iraq and is seeking to wind down combat in Afghanistan amid growing public discontent about American war spending at a time when the economy remains weak.

The Democrat made clear on Sunday that he would not like to see more fighting in the oil-producing Persian Gulf region.

“Any kind of additional military activity inside the Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us. It could have a big effect on oil prices, we’ve still got troops in Afghanistan, which borders Iran, and so our preferred solution here is diplomatic,” he said.

Republican Mitt Romney, the top contender to oppose Obama in the Nov. 6 presidential election, said he would start his presidency by imposing “far tougher” sanctions on Iran and back up American diplomacy with “a very credible military option.”

Tehran says its nuclear program is meant to produce energy, not weapons, but has not responded to the latest Western overtures for talks and has threatened to retaliate against US and European sanctions affecting its finances and oil sales.

In the NBC interview, Obama stressed he was not taking any options off the table to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. “We’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and creating an arms race – a nuclear arms race – in a volatile region,” he said.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • mark
    Feb 6, 2012 - 1:37PM

    so is obama now running isreal too ? how would he know what isreal has or hasnt decided upon ? seriously this guy is a joke, winner of the nobel peace prize despite out war mongering the much maligned george w. all this is the best example that democracy is wasted on the stupid and ill informed

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  • Parvez
    Feb 6, 2012 - 3:55PM

    Hery Kissenger in a recent interview said words to the effect that if you can’t hear the drums of war beating, you’re most likely deaf. You have to admit that Henry K. even today is a voice one pays attention to.

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  • Feb 6, 2012 - 6:04PM

    Well, Mark it is the other way around i.e Israel has been running the U.S. government for a long time now.

    Democracy? In the U.S.? You gotta be kidding me!

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  • Feb 6, 2012 - 6:12PM

    @ Parvez

    Are we talking about the same Henry Kissinger who was a mastermind behind NSSM 500? Population control in the third world including Pakistan by means of starvation, genocide and whatever it takes? Are we talking about the same Henry Kissinger who is often associated with his rather infamous quote?

    “Control food you control people, control oil you control nations” Recommend

  • Feb 6, 2012 - 6:21PM

    Dear Moderators

    Correction in my previous post I meant to write NSSM 200, instead it was written NSSM 500. If you decide to publish my post please make correction.

    My best,

    Nawaz Ansari

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  • Sunny
    Feb 6, 2012 - 8:18PM

    Good to know Israel is undecided, but most of the muslim world (except some Arabs led by Saudi Arabia) have already decided about Israel.

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  • Parvez
    Feb 7, 2012 - 1:05AM

    @Nawaz Ansari: Is there another Henry K. around ????

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Feb 7, 2012 - 3:03AM

    Israel has to do its cost-benefit analysis before it takes its action. The Hezbollah in Lebanon could give Israel a hard time by carrying out terrorist acts. Ehud Ohlmert’s Lebanon War in 2009 was not at all popular at home and his party is no longer in power. Besides the international outcry against Israel would be deafening.

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  • Feb 7, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Never adopt any option off the table,
    it mean war with Iran is optional.

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  • Feb 7, 2012 - 11:45AM

    yes right

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  • Ali
    Feb 9, 2012 - 2:30AM

    Okay so Obama is the new spokesperson for Israel after Panetta.

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  • Feb 12, 2012 - 3:34AM

    obama is not going to help isreal…..isreal said to obama that they will go to war with iran and which will lead to obama telling iran that isreal is comeing…And even notice that isreal might have no back up and iran might have back up,isreal is going to ware them out,,,it said it in the BIBLE that everybody is going to fight isreal at the end of the world…So that means no matter what isreal is going to win…And if obama dont help them they wont be our friends…..And one more thing if isreal loses the war iran might try to make this the end……………………………………………………….
    please help obama

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