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On Obama and Netanyahu meeting: The clock for the strike is ticking amidst assurances for diplomacy

6.3.2012

Obama and Netanyahu spoke at a Summit of AIPAC, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, organised 4th-6th March. US President stated that 'it was not the time for bluster' i.e. a preventive strike against Iran is not the option to resolve the problem. Israeli PM, Mr Netanyahu reiterated Israel's sovereign right to self-defence. However, according to media sources he assured his US counterpart that Israel has not taken a decision on the military strike against Iran.

Tarja Cronberg, chair of the EP Delegation on relations with Iran comments:

'US President Obama has given an explicit message in support of a diplomatic solution to the problem of Iran's nuclear armament. He stated that US primary concern is with Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, not with Iran's nuclear programme itself. He also emphasized that the international coalition needs to be sustained to allow for political and economic sanctions to pressure Iranian leadership and make them change their course. Any unilateral action would be detrimental.

Obama's speech is a timely and healthy reminder for those who argue that Iran's nuclear programme should be put to a halt by military means. It was delivered at the time when Iran had responded to the EU's HR Ashton's invitation to start negotiations.

This exchange between the US and Israel leaders should be welcomed as it - hopefully -strengthens the trust between the two. Overall, however, the AIPAC summit has not dispelled the alarming feeling that a military strike is possible. We urgently need to resume negotiations with Iran and de-escalate the crisis. The recent agreement between the US and North Korea on the closure of the North Korean nuclear programme gives hope that diplomacy can work even in seemingly irresolvable conditions.'

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