News / Middle East

Obama, US Officials Reiterate All Options Open on Iran

President Barack Obama (file photo)President Barack Obama (file photo)
x
President Barack Obama (file photo)
President Barack Obama (file photo)
— U.S. President Barack Obama has reiterated his determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Obama and U.S. officials also spoke about broad objectives of his visit to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan next week.

In an interview with Israel's Channel 2 television, Obama said it would take Iran "over a year or so" to develop a nuclear weapon, adding as he put it, "obviously we don't want to cut it too close."  

It was not clear whether he meant that U.S. and Israeli timelines agree about any so-called "breakout" decision by Iran to proceed to development of a weapon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently that Iran is getting close to passing an Israeli "red line" marking that point.

Obama said diplomacy would yield "a more lasting solution," but reiterated his determination to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

"When I say that all options are on the table, all options are on the table; the United States obviously has significant capabilities," he said.  "But our goal is to make sure that Iran does not possess a nuclear weapon that could threaten Israel or could trigger an arms race in the region."

Obama repeated that the window of opportunity for a diplomatic solution is not "infinite," adding Iran can still utilize an "open door."

U.S. officials spoke about broader objectives of Obama's Middle East trip that begins Wednesday in Jerusalem, and takes him to Ramallah in the West Bank, and Jordan.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said there is excitement in Israel, where people also recognize a need for leaders to discuss critical issues such as Iran and Syria.

"I think they also are hopeful that the consultations between our leaders early in their new terms will chart the course for making progress on all of those issues in the months and in the years ahead," he said.

Obama will deliver a major address to Israelis in Jerusalem, but, he will not bring any new initiative for moving Israelis and Palestinians closer to direct negotiations on a two-state solution.

White House official Ben Rhodes said the president sees the trip as the start of a "broad conversation" about important decisions ahead and said Israel needs to consider changes in the region.

"Israel needs to take into account the changing dynamic and the need to reach out to public opinion across the region as it seeks to make progress on issues like Israeli-Palestinian peace and broader Arab-Israeli peace," he said.

President Obama will not be accompanied by his wife Michelle on the trip, but will have with him Secretary of State John Kerry, who recently traveled extensively in the region.

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George from: USA
March 15, 2013 12:06 PM
It is time for President Obama to stop repeating the George Bush mantra, "All options are on the table." It is simply silly. So, is he considering dropping a hydrogen bomb on Tehran? That would fall within the scope of "All options."

By the way, does anyone know about the UN Charter that defines when an attack on a member country is allowed?


by: John from: Boulder
March 15, 2013 10:08 AM
No Iran's non existent nukes aren't the reason for nuclear proliferation in the middle east. It's ISrael's arsenal of 300 illegal nukes that are the reason. Get rid of Israel's nukes and you'll have middle east free of nukes tomorrow. Obama is just going to Israel to get his orders for the next 4 years to see how Israel can get into another war in the middle east.


by: Sven Bystrom from: Miami, FL
March 15, 2013 1:24 AM
The escorted drone over international waters earlier was just a test. Upon seeing the escort, the Iranian jet bugged out.
It's a game of cat and mouse. But for the sake of Israel the cat better catch the mouse before it becomes nuclear tipped long range missile capable.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid