President Obama recently gave an interview to Israeli TV’s Ilana Dayan. The interview covered a wide range of topics, and it was clear from the start that Dayan was not beholden to the President the way American media is. The best portion of the interview comes about 8 minutes into the discussion, when Dayan holds President Obama’s feet to the fire on the subject of Iran and nuclear weapons.
Here is what Dayan asked and how the President responded:
Ilana Dayan: Mr. President, there is a remarkably sincere observation you made once. You said “nothing comes to my desk that is perfectly solvable.” And you said “any given decision I make, I’ll wind up with a 30-40 percent chance that it isn’t going to work.”
I’m afraid Israelis can not afford even a three to four percent chance that you are wrong Mr. President, because if you are, the bomb will hit Tel Aviv first.
President Obama: Let’s back up on this. We have imposed the most effective sanctions on Iran over the course of the last five years, which has caused them to lose a decade of growth. At the time, people were skeptical… Then we were able to force Iran to the negotiation table because of the effective sanctions. And I said that in exchange for some modest relief, in sanctions, they are going to have to freeze its nuclear program, roll back on its stockpiles, the very stockpiles that Prime Minster Netanyahu went before the negotiations with a picture of the bomb, said that was proof of how dangerous this was.
All that stockpile is gone…
Over a year and a half later, we know they have abided by the letter of it.
The entire interview is a tough (and good) interview and well worth viewing, if just to get the Israeli perspective on our relationship with them, and on their view of President Obama.