US must act on Iran soon, says Senator Lieberman

Independent senator tells Christians United for Israel activists that time running out to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPOND
July 19, 2012 04:55
2 minute read.
US Senator Joe Lieberman

US Senator Joe Lieberman 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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WASHINGTON – US Senator Joseph Lieberman warned Tuesday that the US soon faces a choice between allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons or taking military action to stop it.

“For me, there is only one choice,” he told the crowd of thousands of Christians United for Israel activists, who had traveled to Washington for their annual conference and to lobby members of Congress.

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“I have absolutely no doubt that it is within our power to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons country,” the Independent Connecticut senator continued. “The question is not whether we can stop them, but whether we will choose to stop them.”

To that end, he pointed to a bipartisan Senate resolution with 78 cosponsors declaring that when it comes to Iran, “all options are on the table except one, and that one is containment of a nuclear Iran.”

His words received loud applause from the audience.

Coinciding with CUFI’s lobbying effort on Capitol Hill, the House passed the US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, which codifies existing support for Israel, including vetoing one-sided resolutions against Israel at the UN and intelligence coordination, and calls for actions such as reporting on the State of Israel’s qualitative military edge and looking to expand Israel’s presence at NATO.

Already passed by the Senate, the legislation, which the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and CUFI strongly supported, now heads to the White House for the president’s signature.



Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also addressed CUFI by satellite link on Tuesday, speaking of Israel’s regional priorities and the threats it faces.

He reminded the audience of the freedom of worship that Christians have in Israel while they face the threat of violence in Egypt and other parts of the Muslim world, for which he received applause.

But his main message was one of gratitude for the organization’s support for Israel, referring to some of its more controversial policies.

“You stand with us when Israel refuses to accept one of the greatest lies in modern times, that the Jewish people are foreign occupiers of Judea and Samaria,” he declared.

The United States and others have criticized Israel recently for a report finding that Israel’s settlement activity in the West Bank is legal and that most unauthorized outposts should be recognized.

Netanyahu told the group that Israel is prepared to make “painful compromises” for peace with the Palestinians. But he stressed, “We will not deny our own history.”

His speech earned a nearly one-minute- long standing ovation.

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