Security

Israeli President Thanks Obama For Building International Coalition Against Iran

Clinton (L) and Peres (R)

During a joint press conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today in Israel, Israeli president Shimon Peres — who is recognized as an elder statesman despite his largely ceremonial role in politics — praised the Obama administration’s Iran policy.

Lauding Clinton as a “constant friend,” Peres also had kind words for the Obama administration as a whole, focusing in on President Obama’s efforts to spearhead an international coalition to apply sanctions on Iran as part of a dual-track approach of pressure and diplomacy.

Peres, who said an international coalition against Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program was essential, recognized that sanctions are having an impact:

I want also to thank President Obama and you for handling the more complicated issue and the most dangerous issue of all time, Iran. …

I think the coalition you have built — and a coalition should have been built, it’s not a matter for one country — and the measures that you have taken are beginning to have their impact, are the right start.

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The Obama-led U.N. sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program have long-since retarded Iran’s nuclear progress. Increasingly harsh U.S. and European economic and energy sanctions are devaluing Iran’s currency and slashing the government’s revenue from oil sales with the intent of pressuring the government to strike a deal to resolve issues over its nuclear program.

Peres also noted that Obama has vowed again and again to keep all options on the table to deal with Iran. “(T)here is a continuation of keeping all options on the table,” he said.

A potential Iranian nuclear weapon is widely considered a threat to both the security of the U.S. and its allies in the region, as well as the nuclear non-proliferation regime. U.S., U.N. and Israeli intelligence estimates give the West time to pursue a dual-track approach of pressure and diplomacy to resolve the crisis. Questions about the efficacy and potential consequences of a strike have led U.S. officials to declare that diplomacy is the “best and most permanent way” to resolve the crisis.