President Barack Obama on Sunday told a pro-Israel lobbying group that “loose talk of war” was only serving to benefit Iran because it was driving up the price of oil.
In his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the president warned of the “cost and consequences of war.”
“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,” Obama explained. “Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment, I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
“And as I have made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests,” he continued. “Moving forward, I would ask that we all remember the weightiness of these issues.”
“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 on 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 we have built.”
Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed that there was a “strong likelihood” that Israel would launch strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites in the coming months.
“Israel indicated they’re considering this (a strike), we’ve indicated our concerns,” Panetta told The Washington Post.
Israeli officials have reportedly said that they will not warn the U.S. before launching the attack. U.S. officials predict that any military action against Iran would result in terrorist attacks on the United States and U.S. troops overseas.
In just the last two months, Gasoline prices have surged by over 10 percent over fears of war with Iran.
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast March. 4, 2012.
(H/T: Think Progress)