|Obama rebuffs Netanyahu’s call for setting redlines on Iran’s nuclear program||
TEHRAN – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that he was not willing to impose a “set of conditions” on how he would handle the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Obama made the remarks in an address to 1,200 U.S. rabbis via a conference call in reference to the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently called on the United States to specify red lines in regard to Iran’s nuclear program which, if crossed by Iran, would trigger U.S. military action.
The U.S. president stated that Netanyahu himself would not put in place such conditions, as “no leader ties his hands.”
According to Haaretz, Obama said that there may come a time for military action, “but not until we have exhausted all options,” and that there is “still time and space for diplomacy.”
In addition, the New York Times on Thursday quoted a senior U.S. administration official as saying that Obama had rejected an appeal by Netanyahu to spell out such red lines.
According to the unidentified official, Obama had made the remarks during a phone conversation with Netanyahu on Tuesday night.
“We need some ability for the president to have decision-making room,” the official said, adding, “We have a red line, which is a nuclear weapon. We’re committed to that red line.”
Israeli deputy PM opposes setting red lines on Iran
Israeli deputy prime minister for intelligence and atomic affairs, Dan Meridor, on Thursday broke with Netanyahu’s call for Iran to be confronted with a red line beyond which its nuclear program would face military attack, Reuters reported.
“I don’t want to set red lines or deadlines for myself,” Meridor, one of several Netanyahu deputies who form the core of his security cabinet, told Israel’s Army Radio when asked how much time remained before force against Iran should be used.
“You always consider other options, for when everything else is exhausted. And I think that, for now, we have to continue with the pressure,” he added.
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