he Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is shocked and deeply critical of President Barack Obama’s recent statement, in an interview on Israeli TV, that military action against Iran would be ineffective in preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. This statement contradicts his repeated commitments since before becoming president that “all options are on the table” in seeking to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Clearly, when the President publicly states that a course of action would be ineffective, he is, in essence, removing it from the list of options of what he is prepared to do.
In his interview on Israel TV with Ilana Dayan, President Obama stated, “I can, I think, demonstrate — not based on any hope, but on facts and evidence and analysis — that the best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is a verifiable, tough agreement. A military solution will not fix it, even if the United States participates. It would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program, but it will not eliminate it.” (Ilana Dayan, ‘Obama talks on Israeli TV about Netanyahu, Israel and David Blatt [TRANSCRIPT],’ Jewish Journal (New York), June 2, 2015).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “President Obama made an extraordinary statement yesterday. By saying that military action against Iran to prevent it from becoming a nuclear power would be at best only temporarily effective, President Obama not only made a debatable claim — he essentially contradicted his repeated, publicly stated commitment since before becoming president that he would not remove the military option from the table.
“Now, President Obama has telegraphed to the world that he has done just that. After all, if Obama publicly rules out the effectiveness of military action, he has, for all intents and purposes, removed the option. Military action is not ‘on the table’ if it is pronounced publicly to be useless.
“President Obama’s comment makes little sense. Military action would not only prevent Iran becoming nuclear for years, but would also probably serve to destabilize the Iranian regime. Conversely, a nuclear Iran would serve to make the current regime impregnable to international pressure and strengthen its hold and reach in the Middle East.
“The President says military action is a temporary measure that won’t ‘eliminate’ Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Yet, by his own admission, a nuclear deal with Iran would also be only a temporary measure — after 13 years, even if Iran faithfully implements the deal yet to be signed, it would be able to acquire nuclear weapons. Clearly, the diplomatic approach would also be only ‘temporarily effective,’ but he has not ruled out a diplomatic solution on that account.
“Moreover, there is room to doubt whether military action would be as ineffective as President Obama suggests. The idea that military strikes only delay but don’t stop nuclear programs was made in 1981 when Israel destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor. Yet, although Saddam remained in power and used other weapons, it took him many years to recommence his nuclear program, which the 1991 Gulf War fortunately ended.
“Similarly, Israel destroyed Syria’s nuclear reactor in 2007. Although the Assad regime remains in power and continues to be murderous, there is no evidence that it has recommenced a nuclear program.
“From the point of view of achieving a diplomatic solution, President Obama also made a grave tactical error. Surely, the maximum of pressure will be required to obtain a genuinely worthwhile nuclear agreement with Iran. How can such pressure be applied now, once President Obama has said that the military option is no real option at all. Iran, now, need not fear American military action if it fails to meet the decreasing demands that are being made of it in negotiations.
“Worryingly, this latest statement fits a long pattern of President Obama hampering efforts to combat radical Islam — a term he and his Administrationrefuse to even use — favoring radical Islamic movements and regimes, as I recently noted in detail in a press release listing 33 such examples.”