Tuesday from the Oval Office, sitting next to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, President Barack Obama said while he did not watch Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress, after reading the transcript he feels “there was nothing new,” in the Israeli prime minister’s speech.
Obama said, “I did not have a chance to watch Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech. I was on a video conference with our European partners with respect to Ukraine. I did have a chance to take a look at the transcript. And as far as I can tell, there was nothing new. The prime minister, I think, appropriately pointed out that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable, and on that point I thoroughly agree. He also pointed out that Iran has been a dangerous regime and continues to engage in activities that are contrary to the interest of the United States and to Israel and to the region. And on that, we agree. He also pointed out the fact that Iran has repeatedly threatened Israel and engaged in the most venomous of anti-Semitic statements, and no one can dispute that.
“But on the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region, the prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives. So let’s be clear about what exactly the central concern should be, both for the United States and for Israel. I’ve said since before I became president that one of my primary goals in foreign policy would be to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”
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