WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama likened Israeli pressure on him to draw a line in the sand over Iran’s nuclear ambitions as noise he tries to ignore, according to remarks aired Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently urged the United States to establish what he called a “red line” regarding Tehran’s nuclear program beyond which the United States would be compelled to act.
Iran insists its uranium-enrichment activities are for civilian energy-producing purposes, but the West fears it is for building nuclear weapons.
Israel is seen as pushing a much more hardline approach that would include military action, while Washington instead prefers to let diplomacy and sanctions dissuade Iran from building the bomb.
Obama, interviewed for Sunday’s edition of “60 Minutes” on broadcaster CBS, said he understands and agrees with Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons as this would threaten both countries, the world in general, and kick off an arms race.