Mar. 4 - U.S. President Barack Obama warns against ''loose talk'' of war on Iran, while taking no options off the table. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama warned against "loose talk" of a war with Iran ahead of a crucial meeting Monday where he plans to press Israel's prime minister to avoid a premature strike on the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "Already, there is too much loose talk of war. Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend upon to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel's security, America's security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster; now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have built." In a speech to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, Obama called for diplomacy, but did not rule out other actions. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "We all prefer to resolve this issue diplomatically. Having said that, Iran's leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States, just as they should not doubt Israel's sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs. I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power. A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort to impose crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency. " Last Friday Obama his most direct threat yet of U.S. military action against Iran, saying in an interview with the Atlantic, "I don't bluff." Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters