AntiWar.com & Ha’aretz – 2012-03-05 22:14:14
Netanyahu Praises Obama’s Statements
On Israel’s ‘Right’ to Attack Iran
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(March 4, 2012) — President Obama’s high profile AIPAC speech devoted much time to discussing a possible US or Israeli attack on Iran. It was loudly cheered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he appreciated President Obama’s defense of Israel’s “right” to launch a unilateral attack on Iran in “self defense.”
Netanyahu is preparing to leave from his state visit to Canada to visit the United States, with a scheduled meeting with Obama on Monday. The meeting is expected to focus on the timing of a potential attack.
And though Netanyahu seemed quite pleased with the comments, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that his opinion didn’t mean much, saying that as “an independent and sovereign state,” Israel would make its own decision on whether or not to start a war.
Lieberman and Netanyahu have regularly butted heads on foreign affairs, with the prime minister operating virtually an alternate foreign ministry out of his office in response to Lieberman’s hostility. Rhetoric aside, both seem strongly in favor of attacking Iran.
Netanyahu Welcomes Obama’s Statements on Israel’s Right to Self-defense
Barak Ravid / Haaretz
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 3, 2012) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama’s earlier speech at the AIPAC conference in Washington, saying that he appreciated more than anyone Obama’s statement on Israel’s right to defend itself by itself against any threat.
Speaking before a meeting with Jewish leaders in the Canadian capital Ottawa, Netanyahu noted positively Obama’s statements that Iran should not be permitted to develop nuclear weapons and that all options remain on the table to prevent it from doing so.
“I appreciate all of these statements and expect to discuss them tomorrow with President Obama,” Netanyahu said.
Immediately after his speech at the AIPAC conference, Obama met for 35 minutes in a side room with President Shimon Peres. The two discussed both Iran and the Palestinians. After the meeting, Peres spoke by phone with Netanyahu and updated him on the meeting with Obama.
“It was an excellent meeting with President Obama,” Peres said. “He reinforced the things he said in his speech and went into more details. I left with the feeling that he is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and he is very serious. Obama told me that Israel’s security is an American national security interest. I didn’t find him to even stutter. He is sharply clear and is not playing politics. I am sure that [Netanyahu] will be received very warmly in the White House tomorrow.”
Netanyahu is to meet with Obama at the White House on Monday.
Obama Warns Against Talking About War, Says Threats Helping Iran
Adds He ‘Won’t Hesitate to Use Force’ Against Iran
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(March 04, 2012) — President Obama delivered a major foreign policy speech today before the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington DC, centering on his unquestioning commitment to Israel, his determination to ensure that Israel has military supremacy over any conceivable opponent, and insisting that he “will not hesitate to use force” against Iran.
To that end Obama further insisted that sanctions had brought the entire Iranian economy to a grinding halt in 2011, and that 2012 would be even worse for it. He also took credit for the European Union’s embargo on Iranian oil, saying it came at his administration’s behest. His greatest achievement, at least in his mind, was pretending to be interested in negotiating with Iran so that when it failed he could use that failure as proof of Iran’s refusal to negotiate.
Interestingly enough, particularly when the speech repeatedly made reference to his possible decision to attack Iran in the near future, Obama warned the public against “loose talk” of a war, saying that discussion of the potential attack was benefiting Iran “by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on to fund their nuclear program.”
Not only did President Obama make several pointed comments about attacking Iran in that particular speech in which he warned about doing so, the president had repeatedly done so over the past few days, including insisting on Friday that he was “not bluffing” in his constant threats.
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