Obama on Iran: ‘We won't take military option off the table’US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters/Jason Reed)
United States President Barack Obama told the prime minister of Israel on Monday that the US “won't take any options off the table, including military action," to make sure Iran does not get nuclear weapons.
Obama engaged with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in Washington Monday morning, only days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a phone conference that his country would not be pursuing the procurement of nuclear weapons.
According to the Associated Press, Obama said during Monday’s meeting that words were not sufficient with regards to Rouhani’s promise, and vowed to leave all options on the table — including authorizing the use of military force — if the Iranian leader lied about his intentions.
“Because of the sanctions, Iran is ready to talk and we have to test their willingness in good faith,” Obama said according to Israel’s Haaretz news outlet. “We won't take any options off the table including military action to make sure Iran doesn't get nuclear weapons.”
Netanyahu responded, according to Haaretz, that if “Iran is committed to Israel's destruction, it must be forced to fully dismantle its nuclear program.”
“We say in Hebrew the bottom line is important — and the bottom line is that Iran does not get nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu reportedly said.
Last Friday, Obama spoke with Rouhani for roughly 10 minutes over the phone. The event marked the first time that a US and Iranian leader engaged in a discussion in over three decades.
“Rouhani has indicated that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons,”Obama said after the phone call, hailing that sentiment as a“major step forward in a new relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republican of Iran.”