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Obama on Iran and Israel: ‘I don’t bluff’

by Brad A. Greenberg

March 2, 2012 | 8:02 pm

In an exclusive and extensive interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, President Obama said he’s seriously concerned about the escalating crisis with Israel and Iran. The impetus is a visit to the White House this coming Monday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which Obama plans to urge Netanyahu to wait on bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities and to let him know that the United States “has Israel’s back.”

Goldberg reports:

“I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff.” He went on, “I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli governments recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.”

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“You’re talking about the most volatile region in the world,” he said. “It will not be tolerable to a number of states in that region for Iran to have a nuclear weapon and them not to have a nuclear weapon. Iran is known to sponsor terrorist organizations, so the threat of proliferation becomes that much more severe.” He went on to say, “The dangers of an Iran getting nuclear weapons that then leads to a free-for-all in the Middle East is something that I think would be very dangerous for the world.”

Lots more, including plenty of background and context, here. Leave your thoughts below.

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