News / Middle East

    White House: 'No Daylight' Between US, Israel Over Iran Nuclear Program

    U.S. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in the briefing room in Washington, January 18, 2012U.S. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in the briefing room in Washington, January 18, 2012
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    U.S. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in the briefing room in Washington, January 18, 2012
    U.S. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in the briefing room in Washington, January 18, 2012
    The White House says Israel and the United States are committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but there is still time to pursue diplomacy.
     
    "I can tell you that there is no daylight between the United States and Israel when it comes to the absolute need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons," White House spokesman Jay Carney told VOA. "That is the president’s policy and he will use all aspects of American power towards the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," he said. 
     
    The White House spokesman said President Barack Obama believes there is still time for diplomacy while pressuring Iran though sanctions. 
     
    "But that window will not remain open forever," Carney said. "As the president has said, and I have said, and others, he has made sure that all options remain on the table in terms of dealing with this very serious matter.” 
     
    Israeli news report
     
    Carney's comments come after an Israeli newspaper reported that Washington had approached Tehran to convey that it would not be dragged into a war if Israel attack Iran over its nuclear program.
     
    The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth  reported Monday that the U.S. sent Iran an indirect message through two unidentified European nations "that it would not back an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf."
     
    The newspaper also says unnamed Israeli officials reported an "unprecedented low" in the two countries' defense ties.
     
    Foreign policy politics at home
     
    Obama's Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has accused the president of decreasing support for America's friends, especially Israel and Poland.  
     
    "President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus," Romney said during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last week in Tampa.
     
    "In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran's centrifuges are still spinning," Romney said.
     
    The White House fired back on Friday, saying “cooperation with Israel between our military and intelligence communities has never been closer."
     
    Officials say the U.S. is currently building a radar station in Qatar to defend U.S. interests and American allies from Iranian missiles. The U.S. is also organizing a minesweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf later this month in an effort to deter Iran from blocking oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz.
     
    VOA's Persian News Network contributed to this report.

    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her bylines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, Japan and Egypt.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 04, 2012 10:53 AM
    It wasn't going to be long in coming, and here it is - "Let it be so for now because we're in an election year". What else do we need to be told about Obama's gambles? When the nukes are procured, and Iran begins to dare any country the way NK is going about threatening, someone will blame intelligence gathering, and a wrong person will get fired for another person's failure. Too bad for USA, but Israel is not going to be someone's contribution to the Islamic Conference whether with Iran and all other Arab countries in Kenya. It is so surprising why USA decided to toe antisemitic lines suddenly. Is it because of oil that is being replaced by renewable energy? Is it because USA really is the birthplace and tutor of the antichrist to come? One of these!
    In Response

    by: Fred Farkelberg from: USA
    September 04, 2012 2:55 PM
    "Obama's Gambles"?

    President Obama is demonstrating some very sound sound foreign policy in regards to the non-towards the non-threat that is Iran, unlike Israel's radical right wing Likud regime which is doing nothing but inflame the situation. And enough with the tired old anti-Semitic canard, just because President Obama is not letting the right wing extremist regime of Netanocchio dictate US foreign policy, it does not make the US anti-Semitic.



    by: bellyup
    September 03, 2012 6:24 PM
    Iran already has a working nuclear reactor in their country which was built by Russia. So, is Netanyahu planning to attack Moscow also?
    In Response

    by: Plain Mirror from: Ivory Coast
    September 05, 2012 8:52 AM
    Godwin my brother, I had always applauded you on your regular comments but on this, I disagree as my stand always remain plain as the plain mirror and I do not go on favouritism irrespective of the fact that you are my brother. You got your comment completely wrong putting headily down-push on Russia over this whole issue. US provoked the whole scanario. US systematically intruded into other nations domestic affairs in the name of regime change and change to the so called "Democracy" only but putting their loyalists in power and buying undue favouritism in order to suck the unfortunate counties economies. They did not stop at that but distablised the whole region.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigerias
    September 04, 2012 11:02 AM
    Moscow remains a country of sane people who are genuinely suffering paranoia - maybe a hang-over from the cold war era - in that while it is grappling with terrorism and suicide bombings at home, it is helping its real ENEMIES produce the very weapon they're looking for to destroy it. Israel will not attack Russia for selling the plant, but Iran wants it for reason other than that which Russia knows. Russia only owes itself regrets.

    by: Faruk from: Gulf
    September 03, 2012 5:19 PM
    What is different here that Carney
    has not said before?

    by: Fred Farkelberg from: USA
    September 03, 2012 5:19 PM
    Israel seems intent upon luring the US into another war with false reports and threats of it attacking Iran based upon nothing more than "suspicions" that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

    IAEA inspectors and monitoring are in place at all Iranian enrichment sites and and have not reported any attempts by Iran to enrich beyond the levels permitted under the NPT, so there is no reason to not to continue diplomacy, in fact I believe we should end the adversarial approach all together and instead offer to to provide technical assistance to Iran's nuclear power program.

    It is time for the US to stop trying to force our will upon other nations at the barrel of the gun or installing friendly despots, and instead lure them in the right direction through constructive interaction and example.
    In Response

    by: Plain Mirror from: Ivory coast
    September 05, 2012 9:02 AM
    Godwin pls, I do not know you by this, probably you were drunk today. Get yourself some sense of discipline. Read with enquisitiveness. Make research, draw your conclusions based on facts. History is about to repeat itself here. US George Bush faught Iraq over a similar allegation, yet nothing was found. Now to Iran. Even when one has such hatrade for someone, it is often expressed with some sense of caution and systematically to. But the US is simply abusing the game of haterade here. US is simply boold tastey.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 04, 2012 11:08 AM
    This guy is living in the moon. Sorry when you come down you will understand. But the sarcasm here is too obvious, boy, get to sleep and wake up from this drunken dream. We are not joking here!

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