Obama Claims Bush Administration Dropped the Ball on Iran
The president sought to convince the AIPAC crowd that "when the chips are down, I have Israel’s back." (Also on the Tatler: Iran's Media Reacts)
March 4, 2012 - 8:39 am
Because of his administration, the commander in chief said, “Iran is isolated, its leadership divided and under pressure.”
He said that he still believes that there can be a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis.
“The United States and Israel both assess that Iran does not yet have a nuclear weapon, and we are exceedingly vigilant in monitoring their program,” Obama said. “Now, the international community has a responsibility to use the time and space that exists.”
The crowd was largely quiet during these comments.
The president acknowledged that there are “no guarantees” that Tehran “will make the right choice,” as suggested by the Islamic Republic’s history.
“I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power,” Obama said. “A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort to impose crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.”
“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,” he added, receiving a standing ovation from much of the audience. “And as I’ve made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests.”
He asked the crowd to remember the “weightiness” of the issue when considering how to confront Iran.
“For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster; now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have built,” he said.
Obama said the two countries “may not agree on every single issue … but we agree on the big things.”