News / Middle East

    Hagel: US Won't Allow Iranian Bomb

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) speaks as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel listens during a joint press conference at the prime minister's office, May 16, 2014, in Jerusalem.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) speaks as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel listens during a joint press conference at the prime minister's office, May 16, 2014, in Jerusalem.
    Robert Berger
    Iran is topping the agenda as the United State's top defense official visits Israel.
     
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel discussed Iran's nuclear program with Israeli leaders and addressed Israel's biggest fear: a nuclear-armed Iran.  
     
    "I want to assure you of the United States' commitment to ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and that America will do what we must to live up to that commitment," he said.
     
    Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but  Israel sees it as threat to the existence of the Jewish state.
     
    With Hagel at his side, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed concern over the current nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers. He accused Iran of pretending to negotiate while building nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.
                     
    "I think that as the talks with Iran continue, one thing must guide the international community, and that is: We must not let the ayatollahs win," he said. "We mustn't let the foremost terrorist state of our time, Iran, develop the capability to produce nuclear weapons."
     
    Another subject of discussion was the troubled peace process with the Palestinians. U.S.-brokered negotiations collapsed last month after Israel failed to release Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank decided to form a unity government with the rival Islamic militant group Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip.
     
    Netanyahu says that won't work. "Our Palestinian neighbors are moving ahead in a pact with Hamas. The United States has designated Hamas, rightly, as a terrorist organization, and obviously the Palestinians cannot have a pact with Hamas and peace with Israel."
     
    Tensions are running high in the West Bank after the funeral for two Palestinian youths killed in a clash with Israeli troops. The shooting occurred on Thursday during violent protests marking the Nakba, or "catastrophe" of Israel's creation, 66 years ago.

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    by: musawi melake
    May 17, 2014 5:22 PM
    It's sheer stupidity on the parts of these politicians to expect or even predict that one entity will be barred from acquiring a specific technology. It may be possible to do so for a while by the use of sanctions and other means, but in the long run things can't be as easy. By buying time, Iran can develop it's other capabilities such as far-reaching and radar-evading missile capability longer range subs that can threaten US and Europe, anti-satellite missiles and so on. After that there would be plenty of opportunities to overcome Western hinder. In the meantime the West may face other problems of their own and forget the Iranian issue, similar to what happened withe the Chinese rising while engaged in Islamic-thereat.

    by: sally from: UK
    May 17, 2014 4:24 AM
    Hagel- USA and the rest of the West should stop being Israeli puppet, face realities and be truthful and respect every country's rights

    by: Steve Grumman from: Arizona
    May 16, 2014 8:57 PM
    It hardly seems reasonable for Hagel to make such ridiculous claims. Neither the US or Israel has any right to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear bombs as both countries themselves have such weapons. Additionally, Israel has never allowed nuclear inspections or really ever come clean about its nuclear stockpiles.
    We need to stop acting as Israel's proxie. It's costing us too much and it is rendering us very little benefit.

    by: Bob from: Chicago
    May 16, 2014 7:43 PM
    Mr Hagel, they will have the bomb before you even know that they are close .

    These people don't play by any rules, they just put others like you off for another day while they build their weapons

    by: Sam Kelkaynu
    May 16, 2014 4:51 PM
    Just like we stopped North Korea...


    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 16, 2014 2:03 PM
    Hagel can tell his story to the birds. I think Israel has allowed itself to be deceived too long under the Obama administration. If what Hagel is saying is the mind of USA, then he should admit that the election of Barack Obama was a mistake, even to give him a second term. During this season Iran has positioned itself to be what USA must live to regret, unless the country is willing to bow down to the ayatollahs any time too soon. The shifting of ground by the Saudis should be a terrible warning to USA of what is about to happen.

    But whoever made that noise inside Israel about establishing a relationship with the Saudis must have set the Saudi-Iran relations off. Soon all of islamist and arab countries will fall in line and trouble will be multiplied in the Middle East for what remains of US relations with the islamic world and Israel. For when Iran and the arabs unite, the quest for the Liberation, the Resistance, the Catastrophe, the Jerusalem Day and other celebrations of evil that unite the world of wickedness will be given rein to increase both diplomatic and terrorist pressure on Israel. The USA will be forced to make a choice between its economic interests in the Middle East and its alliance with Israel. Obama is at the center of it all..., think most Americans will not like it then - Iran on the driving seat!

    by: mustafa from: india
    May 16, 2014 1:53 PM
    When Israel has warehouses of nuclear weapons and there is no threat to Iran and Iran peace ful nuclear programme is threat to Israel. History records in front of us. What is the role of Israel in Last 50 Years and what is the role of Iran in last 50 years. Israel capture Golan heights from Syria, attack Three times to its neighbor. Iran never attack to its neighbor in the last 50 years. When Israel has plenty of chimical and nuclear weapons, i do not think there should be any objection from supporter of terrorist group in Syria for Iran peaceful nuclear programme.

    by: Matt from: Bolder
    May 16, 2014 10:59 AM
    If israel had his way, he world not let any country to posses a NUke. Iranians are trying to protect their country and their people form any invasion by US or israel

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