Obama: Iran strike would have 'consequences'

Strike will lead to consequences for US, Israel, the US president says, warns against "beating the drums of war."

March 6, 2012 23:22
1 minute read.
US President Barack Obama at press conference

US President Barack Obama at press conference 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Larry Downing)


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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 capability.

“There is a cost,” Obama said, recalling visits to the Walter Reed veterans hospital and condolence letters he sends to families.

“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 mistakes.”

Obama’s comments come the day after he hosted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for three hours of talks devoted largely to Iran.

In 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 was.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not comment on Obama’s remarks.

Herb Keinon and Reuters contributed to this report.

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