At the debate, Barack Obama (R) said: “An (Iranian) attack on Israel is an attack
on our strongest ally in the region, one whose security we consider paramount. “
PHILADELPHIA (AFP)—The Democratic White House hopefuls vowed Wednesday to defend Israel against any Iranian attack but differed on how to engage the Islamic republic over its nuclear ambitions.
At a televised debate ahead of next Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama agreed that a nuclear-armed Iran was unacceptable.
Both called for diplomacy but Obama went further in renewing a promise of “direct talks” at a leaders’ level with Tehran, along with other US foes.
Iran should be presented with “carrots and sticks,” the Illinois senator said, while stressing “they should also know that I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons or obtaining nuclear weapons.”
“We cannot permit Iran to become a nuclear weapons power,” Clinton said, ruling out any summit talks and condemning President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for raising doubts about who really carried out the September 11 attacks of 2001.
Read moreObama, Clinton pledge to defend Israel against Iran