Obama committed to Israel's security, determined to keep Iran from nuke bombs
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday reiterated his commitment to Israel's security and his determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Xinhua reported.
"America's commitment and my commitment to Israel and Israel's security is unshakeable," the president told the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism in North America, a biennial event attended by top Jewish leaders representing congregations in 14 countries. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was present as well.
"No nation can tolerate terror, and no nation can accept rockets targeting innocent men, women and children. No nation can yield to suicide bombers," Obama said at the event held in Maryland state.
Obama, who is bidding for reelection in 2012, has been criticized as tepid in his support of Israel by Republican presidential contenders. He cannot afford to lose a Jewish voter base, small yet holding considerable sway in the country.
"In fact, I am proud to say that no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel's security than ours. None," he said. "Don't let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact."
"Another grave concern -- and a threat to the security of Israel, the United States and the world -- is Iran's nuclear program," the president said. "And that's why our policy has been absolutely clear: We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."
He pledged to keep up the pressure following "the most comprehensive, the hardest-hitting sanctions" ever slapped on Iran.
The U.S. Congress has asked for sanctions on Iran's central bank, in an beefed-up effort to press the Islamic republic to abandon its attempt to obtain nuclear bombs.
Iran insists that its nuclear program is for electricity generation and medical purpose only.