|A nuclear power plant (illustrative)..(Photo by: AP)|
Obama warns Iran must be stopped
By HERB KEINON AND JPOST.COM STAFF
Tells 'NY Times' "current course" would give Teheran nuclear capabilities.
US President Barack Obama warned Monday that as things stand at the moment, Iran would attain nuclear weapons capabilities.
"We know that they have pursued nuclear weapons in the past, and that the current course they’re on would provide them with nuclear weapons capabilities," he told The New York Times. "You combine those facts, and the message that we are sending is that this behavior is unacceptable. It is outside of the rules of the road that the international community has observed. They have an opportunity to correct these — what I consider to be a misguided approach."
Obama vowed to continue working to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear arms.
"I’ve said publicly that we don’t begrudge any country obtaining nuclear energy for peaceful civilian purposes. But Iran has not considered itself bound in many ways by the basic precepts of the NPT, or has violated them on several occasions," he said. "And so we are going to continue to try to isolate any countries that are operating outside of that approach.”
On March 28, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton warned of the White House moving towards acceptance of a nuclearly capable Iran. “I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that's why there's this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack in Iran,” Bolton told Army Radio.
On Saturday night, in
response to an announcement by Iran’s nuclear chief of plans to build
new atomic facilities in the country, and President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad’s newest warning regarding Israel’s demise, a senior
Israeli government official called for “determined and effective international
“Ahmadinejad’s continuous outbursts of extremist
rhetoric only prove to the entire international community the
seriousness of the threat posed by the Iranian regime’s pursuit of
nuclear weapons, and heightens the need for determined and effective
international action,” the official said.
Ahmadinejad, referring on Saturday to escalating tensions in the Gaza Strip, said IDF action would “cost” Israel “too much.”
say to the Zionists and their supporters that they have already
committed enough crimes,” he told an Iranian crowd. “A new adventure in
Gaza will not save you, but hasten your demise.”
Faced with the prospect of new sanctions because
Iran’s nuclear defiance, Ahmadinejad said that such penalties would
only strengthen his country’s technological advancement and help it to
become more self-sufficient.
“Don’t imagine that
you can stop Iran’s progress,” Ahmadinejad said in remarks broadcast
live on state television. “The more you reveal your animosity, the more
it will increase our people’s motivation to double efforts for
construction and progress of Iran.”
president claimed US pressure on Iran had backfired and made Washington
more isolated in the eyes of the world.
which has veto power in the UN Security Council and whose support would
be key, has not confirmed US reports that it has dropped its opposition
to new sanctions. Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, is in
China in the hopes of winning assurances from Beijing that it will
oppose such measures.
Iran’s economy has
suffered over the past year, and parliament approved a cut in subsidies
that keep fuel prices low, a further blow to Iranians already
experiencing high unemployment and inflation.
The UN Security Council could consider new punishments on Iran,
including increasing financial squeezes on the extensive holdings of
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The US has also said it could seek to
penalize companies that sell fuel to the oil-rich Islamic Republic,
which imports about 40 percent of the fuel it needs because its
refineries cannot keep pace.
that the US has failed to isolate Iran. He said the fact that Obama’s
recent visit to Afghanistan was not announced beforehand for security
reasons was evidence of America’s own isolation.
see who is isolated. We think those who can’t show up publicly among
the people and directly address them are isolated – those who fear
nations. Gentlemen go to a country where they have 60,000 troops
without any prior announcement. Who is isolated?” Ahmadinejad
The Iranian president noted that his own
recent trip to Afghanistan was announced in advance and said he was
“You are isolated yourself,
but you are a hotheaded and don’t understand it,” he said.