Netanyahu, U.S. Lawmakers Agree on Need To Stop Iran's Nuclear Program

By Haaretz Service

Published May 19, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel and the United States agreed on Tuesday that Iran must not be allowed to continue its contentious nuclear program, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. lawmakers said Tuesday following talks in Washington.

“I was assured by President [Barack] Obama [on Monday] that the U.S. is committed to preventing that from happening,” Netanyahu said a day of meetings with several U.S. lawmakers, including prominent Jewish members of Congress.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Minority Leader John Boehner told reporters following their meeting with Netanyahu that they are committed to ensuring Iran is unable to develop a nuclear weapon. “It is important for all of us to work together to be sure that Iran does not develop a weapon of mass destruction,” Pelosi said after emerging from the meeting with Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said a nuclear-armed Iran would post a threat to Arab countries in the region as well as the United States, warning Tehran could provide terrorists with a nuclear device.

“The consequences could be unimaginable,” Netanyahu told Pelosi and Boehner.

Obama said Monday after his first official talks with Netanyahu that the U.S. would not have talks forever on stopping Iran’s enrichment of uranium.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday said that Israel’s public backing of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would not cause Iran to abandon it’s nuclear program.

“These… words will not cause Iran to stop its centrifuges. Israel has already said in the past ‘two states for two peoples’ and this didn’t cause the Palestinians to fall into our arms and reach all the tough decisions that are required,” said Barak during a tour of the Israel Defense Forces Central Command.

Barak’s comments came amid mounting international pressure on Netanyahu to declare support for a Palestinian state, which the prime minister has refrained from doing.

Barak added that Israel was not ruling out any course of action against Iran’s nuclear program, and that he advised other countries to do the same.

“Israel is not taking any option off the table and we recommend others not to take options off the table,” he said.

The statement was apparently directed toward the United States, which has embarked on a new diplomatic policy toward the Islamic Republic under President Barak Obama.

In comments published Sunday, Obama said he understood Israel’s fears over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but added that he wanted to offer the country an opportunity to align itself with international norms and international rules.

Barak said he had spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had updated him on his meeting with Obama on Monday.

“I think that we have begun a serious dialogue with the Americans,” he said. “It will take time and it will encompass all of the subjects.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.