The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has applauded recent comments by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the Obama Administration will not permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. In an interview on NBCs Meet the Press program, Secretary Clinton said that What we want to do is to send a message to whoever [in Iran] is making these decisions that if youre pursuing nuclear weapons for the purpose of intimidating, of projecting your power, were not going to let that happen You have a right to pursue the peaceful use of civil, nuclear power You do not have a right to obtain a nuclear weapon. You do not have the right to have the full enrichment and reprocessing cycle under your control. But theres a lot that we can do with Iran if Iran accepts what is the international consensus (David E. Sanger, Clinton Says Nuclear Aim of Iran Is Fruitless, New York Times, July 27 2009).
Secretary Clintons reassurances that the Obama Administration would not permit Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon came following earlier indications from her that the Obama Administration might be willing to acquiesce in Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons capacity. Only last week, Secretary Clinton implied that the U.S. would accept Iran becoming a nuclear power and was planning to meet this challenge by extending a missile shield over the Middle East: 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 (Barak Ravid, Israel slams Clinton statement on nuclear Iran, Haaretz, July 22, 2009).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We applaud Secretary Clintons statement declaring that the Obama Administration will not permit Iran to become a nuclear power because clarity is urgently needed regarding the determination of this Administration to deal with the looming Iranian nuclear threat. Not only were there Secretary Clintons remarks of last week suggesting that an Iranian nuclear weapons capacity was to be accepted, but various statements by senior Administration officials have indicated that the Obama Administration would do less than everything to stop Iran or else condition what it did on Israel making concessions to the unreconstructed, terror-supporting Palestinian Authority.
As we said at the time, 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. As President Obama has said several times, Iran poses a serious security threat to the U.S., Israel and the world. It is therefore a vital American interest to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. There is no linkage between the Arab/Israeli negotiations and the threat posed by Iran except that a nuclear Iran would increase the dangers of that conflict. In her statement affirming that the Obama Administration will not permit Iran to become a nuclear power, Secretary Clinton has implicitly acknowledged this fact and we applaud her statement.