In an extensive interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, President Obama insisted that he was serious about his threats regarding Iran’s continued nuclear weapons program.
“I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” Obama told Goldberg. “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.”
“It will not be tolerable to a number of states in that region for Iran to have a nuclear weapon and them not to have a nuclear weapon. Iran is known to sponsor terrorist organizations, so the threat of proliferation becomes that much more severe.” He went on to say that “the dangers of an Iran getting nuclear weapons that then leads to a free-for-all in the Middle East is something that I think would be very dangerous for the world,” Obama said.
Obama’s remarks come in advance of a crucial summit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and amid accusations from some of the president’s critics that he has been insufficiently committed to Israel’s security.
Obama pushed back on questions about his commitment to Israel — insisting that his record on backing Israel is strong.
“Every single commitment I have made to the state of Israel and its security, I have kept,” he told me. “Why is it that despite me never failing to support Israel on every single problem that they’ve had over the last three years, that there are still questions about that?” Obama said.