US President Barack Obama at press conference 390 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing)
WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama warned Tuesday that there would be
consequences for the United States as well as Israel if a premature strike is
launched on Iran.
“This is not just an issue of Israeli interests. This
is an issue of American interests,” he said at a last-minute press conference,
stating that a decision on action was not necessary within the next weeks, or
even months. “It’s also not just an issue of consequences for Israel if action
is taken prematurely.
There are consequences for the United States as
well.” He warned against the “casualness” of talk of possible military action
and American politicians’ “beating the drums of war,” saying those who speak so
loosely should consider the consequences of their words.
Three of the
four Republican candidates appeared at AIPAC Tuesday and criticized Obama for
not acting aggressively enough
to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear
“There is a cost,” Obama said, recalling visits to the Walter
Reed veterans hospital and condolence letters he sends to
“Sometimes we bear that cost, but we think it through,” he
continued. “We don’t play politics with it. When we have in the past, when we
haven’t thought it through and it gets wrapped up in politics, we make
Obama’s comments come the day after he hosted Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu for three hours of talks devoted largely to Iran.
Tuesday’s press conference, he reiterated that there is a “window of
opportunity.” He said he didn’t expect a breakthrough in the first meeting, and
added that it would be quickly be possible to gauge how serious Iran
The Prime Minister’s Office did not comment on Obama’s
remarks.Herb Keinon and Reuters contributed to this report.