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The deepening dispute between the United States and Israel over how to stop Iran’s nuclear program broke into public view Tuesday, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggesting that the Obama administration did not have the “moral right” to forestall military action.
Netanyahu’s remarks — and a White House decision that President Obama will not meet with the Israeli leader later this month — threatened to further exacerbate tensions between the two allies and possibly push the disagreement over Iran into the U.S. presidential campaign.
In a blistering response to a Sunday statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the United States is “not setting deadlines” for Iran to abandon its alleged weapons program, Netanyahu said that if no “red line” is established, Iran will continue to pursue an atomic bomb.
“The world tells Israel: ‘Wait. There’s still time.’ And I say, ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,” Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem.
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“In his first TV interview as president,” Romney said in his Republican convention speech last month, Obama “said we should talk to Iran. We’re still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning. “President Obama has thrown allies like Israel under the bus,” Romney said.