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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs