Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded President Obama that the U.S. policy of sanctioning Iran’s nuclear program hasn’t succeeded and emphasized that Israel will carry out a unilateral strike on Iran if it deems it necessary.
“Notwithstanding our joint efforts and your great success in mobilizing the international community, diplomacy and sanctions still have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program,” Netanyahu said to Obama during his opening statement at a joint press conference in Israel. He added that the diplomatic approach must be “augmented by clear and credible threat of military action.”
Netanyahu emphasized that Israel poses that threat, regardless of U.S. policy. “I know that you appreciate that Israel can never cede the right to defend ourselves to others, even to the greatest of our friends,” he said in comments addressed to Obama.
Obama didn’t mention the possibility of a unilateral attack on Iran, but he promised that the United States “will help Israel preserve its qualitative military edge so that Israel and defend itself by itself from any threat.”
“We agree that a nuclear armed Iran would be a threat to the region, a threat to the world, and potentially an existential threat to Israel,” Obama also said. “All options are on the table. We will do what’s necessary to prevent Iran from getting the world’s worst weapons.”