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Obama To Iran And Israel: "I Do Not Bluff."

Paige Brettingen |
March 2, 2012 | 9:53 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

President Obama (Creative Commons)
President Obama (Creative Commons)
President Obama said in an interview with The Atlantic that the United States would intercede if Iran built a nuclear weapon and that if Israel chooses to strike, it would have U.S. sympathy.  To stress that he added, "as president of the United States, I don't bluff."

The interview between President Obama and Jeffrey Goldbert of The Atlantic:

  • In the most extensive interview he has given about the looming Iran crisis, Obama told me earlier this week that both Iran and Israel should take seriously the possibility of American action against Iran's nuclear facilities. "I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don't bluff." He went on, "I also don't, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say."

The BBC reported that there has been talk that Israel is planning a preemptive strike as early as April and that President Obama is scheduled to meet with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday in Washington, D.C.

At a Democratic fundraiser in New York on Thursday evening, an audience member voiced her concern over "no war in Iran" that elicited audience cheering. President Obama responded: "Nobody has announced a war young lady. You're jumping the gun a little bit there."

Despite President Obama saying that Israel would have U.S. sympathy, he has also stressed that Israel should be cautious not to strike too soon and believes Israel is carefully considering the consequences.

CNN reported:

  • Obama said Netanyahu has a "profound responsibility to protect" Israelis, given the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.
  • "I think it's important to recognize, though, that the prime minister is also head of a modern state that is mindful of the profound costs of any military action, and in our consultations with the Israeli government, I think they take those costs, and potential unintended consequences, very seriously," Obama said.

Though past interactions between Obama and Netanyahu have appeared tense, Obama assured that they are on amicable terms.

"For the most part, when we have differences, they are tactical and not strategic. Our objectives are a secure United States, a secure Israel, peace, the capacity for our kids to grow up in safety and security and not have to worry about bombs going off, and being able to promote business and economic growth and commerce," reported CNN.



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