BEIRUT

Middle East

Israeli press disappointed over Obama's Iran speech

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel's main newspapers on Monday expressed disappointment over a key speech by U.S. President Barack Obama in which he pushed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis over Iran's contested nuclear program.

The US leader's remarks, made on Sunday to delegates at the powerful pro-Israel AIPAC lobby, came just a day before he was to hold key talks on Iran at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Obama promised us that the United States would not accept (Iranian) nuclear weapons," wrote Sima Kadmon in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

"But we should also note what was not said there. Obama did not budge a millimeter from his position, according to which the only way to prevent nuclear weapons is to persuade Iran to give them up of its own volition."

In his address, Obama gave a strong nod to Israel's refusal to contemplate a nuclear-armed Iran, acknowledged its right to self-defence and vowed he would "not hesitate to use force" where necessary.

But he made clear that the United States would use military force only after all diplomatic options had been exhausted.

"Obama didn't wait for his private meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today to clarify his position on Iran's nuclear program," the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper said, noting the president had "urged everyone to set the war drums aside."

Israel has repeatedly said it would not rule out military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but in his speech Obama criticised "loose talk of war" and pleaded for patience, arguing that coordinated international pressure would force Tehran to the negotiating table.

Netanyahu is to meet Obama at the White House at 10:45 am (1545 GMT) with the Israeli leader set to give his own address to AIPAC delegates later on Monday.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here