July 7th, 2009
09:21 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama: U.S. not giving Israel green light to attack Iran

President Obama meets Tuesday with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin near Moscow.
President Obama meets Tuesday with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin near Moscow.

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) - The United States is "absolutely not" giving Israel a green light to attack Iran, U.S. President Barack Obama told CNN Tuesday.

"We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East," Obama said, referring to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden appeared to leave the door open on Sunday for Israel to attack Iran if it saw fit.

"Israel can determine for itself - it's a sovereign nation - what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," Biden said on ABC's "This Week."

Full story

–CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry contributed to this report.


Filed under: Iran • Israel • Middle East • President Obama
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Orlando

    Obama is right. Trigger happy politicians have caused more problem in this world than anyone else

    July 7, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Dante

    at least biden got one thing right.......i don't think israel is waiting for the chosen one to give a green light for its own self defense.....unless of course by green you mean "clean coal, clean energy", along with all the nonexistent green jobs he hasn't created but may have saved......while his worshipfulness is planning his next earth moving speech and making nice with iran and its mullahs, israel hopefully is planning a takeout of iran's nuclear facilities.......before iran gets the big one and becomes just like North Korea......really impossible to deal with once they are nuclear armed but in this case menacing the world's oil supply........and while he's getting palsy walsy with iran, perhaps he could inquire about some of the missing freedom seeking iranian protesters.......maybe the iranian secret police would let obama and the red cross visit the imprisoned and see what REAL TORTURE is.........but i digress...have a nice day

    July 7, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  3. Melissa

    It doesn't really matter if the US is or not, because the attack would happen either way. The US does NOT control Israel or Iran, no matter how much it likes to think otherwise.

    Personally, I think its about time someone stood up for Israel because Iran's behavior has been despiscable for years.

    July 7, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Shibumi

    Looks like BO BO and Goofball aren't reading from the same page.

    July 7, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. Terry from West Texas

    I wish the Jews had resettled in Ecuador after World War II or anywhere else except the Middle East. That would have made our world much safer. However, Israel is a modern democracy and it is in our best interest to ally ourselves with all other modern democracies against the totalitarian states like Russia, China, and the entire Middle East (except Turkey).

    The problem with Israel is that it is not a secular democracy. Theology adds an element of craziness to Israeli government. It also augments the power of the fundamentalist citizens of Israel.

    July 7, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. Loup Garou 782

    I am no fan of the Biden but, he is correct, Israel is a Sovereign nation and if they think they should take out Iranian nuclear power then they should do so without hesitation.
    The only problem here is that we have a president that is in agreement with Palestine, Iran, Egypt, and others. the obama despises the Israelis and will assist in their demise, no matter what the cost. He must be stopped.

    July 7, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. elle

    i dont hear any one asking,what happens if talks do not
    stop iran from getting a nuc?
    israel is in direct danger,a small country with
    concentrated population centers, perfect for one or two
    nuc's and the whole country is history.(the cannery in the coal mine)
    buying enough time for the rest of the world to get ready
    and confrant iran.a little to late for israel...
    its easy to sit in the white house six thousand miles away
    and dictate to israelis like obama dose.
    more over obama has to be ready to assume responsibility for the lives of millions of israeli citizens.
    israel dose not need permission from any one, including obama
    to defend itself.

    July 7, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Just be careful

    More like a yellow light...

    July 7, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Lemmy

    Everyday Obama is digging himself a deeper and deeper hole. The man is clearly not a good President.

    July 7, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. Reality

    Tell me, why does Obama and the left preach so hard about the U.S. not meddling in the affairs of other countries (To the extent, Obama apologizes for America), while he has no problem "meddling" in the affairs of Israel and Honduras? Why woudn't he align with Israel to preemtively defend itself and Honduras to take action to support it's own democratic constitution against a corrupt and dictatorial president. The U.S. has the right to do this....sound like it's all a matter of "convenience" for Obama and whether it aligns with HIS agenda.

    The big difference between Obama and God is that God doesn't think he's Obama.

    July 7, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Fed up

    Did anyone tell Joe that?? Time for Joe to go back into hiding and do nothing. Every time they let him out he sticks his foot in his mouth. At least he's entertaining if nothing else.

    July 7, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. G

    Give them the Green Light! Everyone wants the Iranian program stopped, Saudis, Iraqis, Egyptians, Jordan, Isreal, US, Britian, France, Germany and Russia. Just get the coalition together and strike these sites once and for all. Send the signal to the next nation that tries to do this....Frankly, a majority of the Iranian people would like the nuke sites to be destroyed. Nuke + Oil + Terrorism ties = a scary and powerful oppressive Iranian government.

    July 7, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Legna

    Its not up to Obama. The Israelis can make their own decision.Why do they want a non-experienced individual aiding n their decision making process. If we lived near someone that said they wanted to wipe us off the face of the earth I don't think we would ask Israel for permission to take care of the problem..

    July 7, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. Bella Downell

    Joe, Joe, Joe. Can't you see that Obama is slipping you under the bus by sending you to Iraq. You need to stop making so many broad statements of your understanding of policies when we all know there is no stable policy in this administration. The only continuing policy in the Obama administration is appeasement to his supporters and to the rest of the world.

    July 7, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Guy Next Door

    BHO better give the green light for Israel to attack Iran since he does not have the cahonies to do so.

    BHO is so conflicked and weak on the International front. Guess he is too busy turning the US into a Facist State (Fascists believe that nations and/or races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in conflict against the weak.)

    One has to look no further than the take over of the car industry, banking, and now medical instutitions.

    You Dems better wake up before it is really too late. Are you ready for BHO's next stimulus package? We are not only 10-11 Trillion dollars in debt that can never be paid off.

    You got what you voted for!

    July 7, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Lucullus

    Good Lord! Am I to understand that America is actually going to stand up to poor, tiny, surrounded Israel? Doesn't Obama understand that if he does that AIPAC will sic their paid dogs in congress on him and nothing he wants to accomplish will get done.

    July 7, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. Johnny V

    I like Biden's laissez faire approach. Let Isreael take care of our dirty work. Makes good sense.

    July 7, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Randi L.

    Biden needs to control his mouth. Obama needs to put a leash on Biden – or better yet a muzzle.

    July 7, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Rose

    So, we have decided to nullify the past decades of support for our only true ally in the Middle East. I certainly hope that a major conflict is not forthcoming, but we have shown NO SUPPORT for the protection of this once fine ally. Why is this?

    July 7, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Keefe

    Joe Biden is proving to be a detriment to the President...

    July 7, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. Illinois 2

    Israel is not any different than any other country when they are being threatened it is there God given right to act in the best interest to there citizens. The United States better support there decisions and help them with any security measures necessary for there potection, as well as those of our citizens and stop trying to buy protection with agreements that will not be honored....

    July 7, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. Jimmy Hansen

    Oh, look at the photo. Isn't that the infamous 'evil eye' Obama is trying to hid behind his half-sneer?

    July 7, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. annie against biased news

    Looks to me like obama would rather see Israel destroyed. He doesn't seem to like our allies at all, but adores our enemies.

    July 7, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    It's in everyone's best interest that Israel does not attack Iran pre-emptively. But they can not sit idolly by while the Iranians plot to destroy them. This is what's called stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    July 7, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. does that mean...

    we have condoned the palestine attacks

    July 7, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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