The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed deep concern the Obama Administration for implying that it might accept the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran. The indication that it would do so came when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this week that the U.S. would provide a defense umbrella for its allies in the Middle East in the event that Iran develops nuclear weapons. Secretary Clinton said while on a visit to Thailand that, We want Iran to calculate what I think is a fair assessment: that if the United States extends a defense umbrella over the region, if we do even more to develop the military capacity of those (allies) in the Gulf, it is unlikely that Iran will be any stronger or safer.
Secretary Clintons statement led Dan Meridor, Israels Minister for intelligence services to say, I heard, unenthusiastically, the Americans statement that they will defend their allies in the event that Iran arms itself with an atomic bomb, as if they have already reconciled with this possibility, and this is a mistake we dont need to deal with the assumption that Iran will attain nuclear weapons but to prevent this (Barak Ravid, Israel slams Clinton statement on nuclear Iran, Haaretz, July 22, 2009).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We view with deep concern Secretary Clintons statements in Thailand this week that implied that the Obama Administration might be reconciled to Iran becoming a nuclear weapons power. Before being elected president, Barack Obama said repeatedly that he would do everything to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power. Secretary Clinton has therefore foreshadowed a violation of a major campaign promise. Clearly, if Iran becomes a nuclear power, something less than everything will have been attempted by the Obama Administration to stop it.
In May, we expressed our deep concern at the linkage which President Obama and senior Administration officials affirmed between the Iranian issue and the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. We pointed out then that Arab states that are genuinely threatened by the looming Iranian nuclear threat would need no inducement to cooperate with America in our efforts to prevent Iran from manufacturing these weapons. We pointed out that weakening or pressuring Israel would not deter Iran. Nothing has happened in the last two months to alter our view. On the contrary, the Iranian regime continues defiantly to work towards obtaining nuclear weapons and has rebuffed American diplomacy.
At the time, we also observed that President Obama was presenting baffling, contradictory arguments, asserting, on the one hand, that a nuclear Iran poses a serious security threat to the U.S. and, on the other, that it would condition to at least some extent what it does in countering the Iranian threat upon Israel making various major concessions to the existing, unreconstructed Palestinian Authority regime. The ZOA believes that if Iran poses a serious security threat to the U.S., Israel and the world as President Obama says it does then there can be no reason or logic for the Obama Administration to do less than everything to stop Iran.
In this context, we view with the utmost gravity and concern Secretary Clintons recent words that may suggest that the Obama Administration might be reconciled to Iran becoming a nuclear power. Is the Obama Administration implying that it does not intend to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power but that does intend to hold Israel guilty for its own failure to do so?
We urge all Americans, members of U.S. Congress and Jewish organizations since a nuclear-armed Iran is a threat to both the U.S. and Israel, to reaffirm unequivocally that it is committed to preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.