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4 Mar, 2012 16:43

Won’t hesitate to use force to defend US – Obama on Iran

The US President said his country will do everything it takes to defend national interests, and that a military attack to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is possible.

Addressing the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee's policy conference, Obama quoted Roosevelt and said he would “speak softly, but carry a big stick”. At the same time, however, the President appealed to the powerful lobbying group, calling for more time to allow sanctions to further isolate the Islamic Republic.Israeli president Shimon Peres,who spoke before Obama, said that a nuclear Iran would be a menace to the world, not just to Israel's security. The US leader echoed those statements – but still called for calm, saying "For the sake of Israel's security, America's security and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster. Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have built.'' Obama's speech came a day before he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. According to the Telegraph, Netanyahu plans to demand a pledge from Barack Obama on Iran. The Israeli PM reportedly believes that the only way to  prevent a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran is to pledge that the United States will attack the nuclear sites before the Islamic Republic can acquire a weapon.