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Middle east

'Absolutely' no green light for Israel to strike Iran, says Obama

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-07

US President Barack Obama denied giving Israel a green light to strike Iran following comments by Vice President Joe Biden stating that the US would not stand in the way of Israel in its dealings with Iran's nuclear ambitions.

AFP - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday strongly denied that the United States had given Israel a green light to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, in an interview on CNN television.
   
Asked by the cable television broadcaster whether Washington had given Israel the go-ahead to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Obama answered: "Absolutely not."
   
In the interview, which was broadcast from Russia, where he is on an official visit, he added: "We can't dictate to other countries what their security interests are.
   
"What is also true is, it is the policy of the United States to try to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear capabilities," Obama said.
   
This would be achieved "through diplomatic channels," he added.
   
The remarks followed recent comments by Vice President Joe Biden stating that the United States would not stand in the way of Israel in its dealings with Iran's nuclear ambitions.
   
"Israel can determine for itself... what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," Biden told ABC television's "This Week" program in an interview broadcast Sunday.
   
"We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination -- if they make a determination -- that they're existentially threatened," Biden said.
   
Obama on Tuesday stressed however that he wanted first to see progress on diplomatic outreach, as the United States attempts to end Tehran's controversial nuclear drive.
   
"I think Vice President Biden stated a categorical fact, which is that we can't dictate to other countries what their security interests are," the US leader said.
   
Obama added that "the United States reserve(s) the right, and I as commander-in-chief reserve the right, to take whatever actions are necessary to protect the United States."
 

Date created : 2009-07-07

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