Obama on Israeli attack on Iran: ‘Absolutely Not’

I argued on Monday that Vice President Joe Biden did not intend, by his remarks on Sunday, to give Israel a US go-ahead to bomb Iran.

The fall-out from such an attack on US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be dire, which is one reason I’m quite sure Obama does not want such a thing.

In an interview on CNN, President Obama on Tuesday clarified his stance on Iran and also denied that Vice President Biden’s remarks on ABC on Sunday were intended to give Israel a green light to bomb Iran:

‘ Obama was asked on CNN this morning, “Are you giving Israel a green light?”

“Absolutely not,” the president replied. “And I think it’s very important that I’m as clear as I can be, and our administration is as consistent as we can be on this issue.”

“I think Vice President Biden stated a categorical fact which is we can’t dictate to other countries what their security interests are,” Obama added. “What is also true is that it is the policy of the United States to try to resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear capabilities in a peaceful way through diplomatic channels. That is our policy, I have been talking about this for the last two years, we are going to continue to pursue this, and you know we have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and solve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East.

“Now this is a tough job and nobody is under any illusions that it will be easy, and I’ve always said that we, the United States, preserve the right, and I as the commander in chief preserve the right to take whatever actions are necessary to protect the United States. But we are committed to a peaceful resolution to this conflict and I think it is still possible, but ultimately if we present an opportunity to the Iranians at some point, they’ve got to seize that opportunity.” ‘

The CNN report is here with video.

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