March 6th, 2012
01:27 PM ET
6 years ago

BREAKING: Obama: 'We have a window of opportunity' with Iran

(CNN) - "We have a window of opportunity" in which Iran's nuclear situation can be resolved diplomatically, President Barack Obama said Tuesday in his first formal news conference since last year.

"It is deeply in everybody's interest - the U.S., Israel and the world - to see if (the Iranian nuclear situation) can be resolved in a peaceful fashion," Obama added.

Asked to elaborate on his Monday statement that the United States "will always have Israel's back," Obama said, "historically, we have always cooperated with Israel with respect to the defense of Israel, just like we do with a whole range of other allies ... It was not a military doctrine that we were laying out for any particular military action."

As for the ongoing unrest in Syria, the U.S. taking unilateral military action in response to the situation, "or to think that somehow, there is some simple solution, I think is a mistake," the president said.

The inadvertent burning of Qurans at Afghanistan's Bagram Air Field, and the violent protests that followed, "concern me," Obama said. "I think that it is an indication of the challenges in that environment, and it's an indication that now is the time for us to transition (power to the Afghans)."

Filed under: Iran • President Obama
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Sharlene

    We are so ready to attack Iran over them getting the bomb. So why isn't everyone screaming to bomb North Korea, or Pakistan, Russia, China, India, etc?

    March 6, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. 100% ETHIO

    Nation, war isn't that easy. You could understand it more, if you lost your closed Family members in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam,...
    War is not like a talk show, blogging here like the way you feel, going out for dinner in YOUR CHOICE RESTAURANTS, flukes around Disney World,....

    In War zone, the Soldier is standing on the edge of the Hill, were life and death is.

    Remember, American Family members for those fallen Soldiers, are still mourning their love ones. It will take some time to get back to their normal lives. And also, think those injured Soldiers who are under caregivers.

    I am sure, some of the bloggers above, didn't went through as I mentioned.

    Please, think Twice, look around and if you get a CHANCE, visit the Hospitals were our Veteran Brothers and Sisters are.

    March 6, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Truth wrote:

    Iraq wasn't flying bombing raids all over Iran.
    Yes, they did. Saddam flew limited air raids and launched ground attacks against supected Iranian nuke targets in the 1990s. Since it served US interests, we conveniently looked the other way.

    Where have you been for the past 30 years? Why do you think Iran and Iraq had been at war with one another on an almost non-stop basis since the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979? Saddam wanted to have the not merely the strongest military in the Arab world, Saddam wanted to be the only power in the region. He tolerated no threats.

    Anything that Iran did that looked like it might be nuclear, Saddam did not hesitate to take it out. Don't forget, the "No Fly" zones were in the north and the south. The central regions that border Iran were allowed to have limited flights

    March 6, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Amanda Wolf

    diridi: no, Israel is not playing drama. Renenber the 36 shoulder to arm missiles sadddam hussein fired on Israel? and how patiently Israel stayed, instead of retaliating? It seems you should do some history research.

    March 6, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. 4pease

    We now have a reasonable and thoughtful President, unlike during the Dudya years.

    March 6, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Mark Ronads

    I dont trust our Presidents judgemenet and think Americans in general have given this President credit that he is not due.. Dont get me wrong, he is not the worst by a long shot..but I do feel as the people he represents that in some cases we need to press him to act where I find far to often he sits back and follows..We need a leader.

    March 6, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. judy

    how many of your kids have served?. Mine have it is not something I look forward to. The president is looking at the whole picture. The repos say a lot of stuff but caution is called for. Glad we have this president.

    March 6, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Sirned

    Thinking and using diplomacy is much cheaper than a war but Republican deficit hawks don't believe in the science of math...

    March 6, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. billp37

    Fuel for electricity generation is a problem both in the US and Iran. The US produces only 7% of the uranium it uses Byron King reports. Bombing Iran's nuclear electric generation facilities my be viewed unfavorably by some countries? Google 'iran cornerstone of possible ww3'. Google 'ryan crocker j orlin grabbe' for details on how the US may have incited Saddam Hussein to attack Iran in 1980, then helped Iraq by reading Iran ciphered messages.

    March 6, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Sharlene asked:

    We are so ready to attack Iran over them getting the bomb. So why isn't everyone screaming to bomb North Korea, or Pakistan, Russia, China, India, etc?
    Conservatives already have. When N. Korea was saber rattling during Obama's first year, Newt Gingrich suggested on Fox News Sunday that the US should launch an EMP against the N. Koreans to shut down the nuclear program. If if looked like they would get it up and running again, then launch another one. That was Newt's idea.

    Do you know what an EMP looks like when it explodes? It looks like a nuclear explosion because that is exactly what it is.

    March 6, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. JoMama

    The amazing thing about politicians on both sides of the aisle these days is that they're not the least bit interested in taking ownership for any of the problems that are crippling us as a country. Their sole objective is to tell you what's wrong and that they're not to blame for it. These are our representatives folks, makes you feel well represented, doesn't it?

    March 6, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "We are so ready to attack Iran over them getting the bomb. So why isn't everyone screaming to bomb North Korea, or Pakistan, Russia, China, India, etc?"
    Because they understand the concept of mutually assured destruction. The Iranians, on the other hand, are willing (and would consider it an honor) to be destroyed in their perverted obsession to destroy Israel.

    March 6, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Olaf Big

    With friends like Netanyahu, who needs enemies? Sure, U.S. should do all it can to keep Iran from building a nuclear weapon using stick and carrot method, but military action is out of the question. Whatever crude nuclear device the Iranians can build will never be of any threat to the U.S. And I don't think Obama will attack Iran, but the real danger is that Israel will, and that may pull U.S. into a major conflict in a very-very volatile area. A conflict we don't need. I hope that behind the closed doors Obama told Netanyahu that if Israel strikes Iran without U.S. go-ahead they are on their own.

    March 6, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. GaryM

    Unless you are a soldier, a parent of a soldier, or somebody whose life may change forever with a potential war, do yourself a favor and let the people in charge of this handle these matters. An interesting article yesterday said that Obama's talk with Netanyahu centered around the fact that there was no viable way of making sure that an attack will remove the nuclear threat, Russia and China will remove their support of sunctions, and the mullahs there are starting to come around by critizing the nuclear weaponization. And we still have one more war to finish.

    March 6, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Taran

    @Sharlene, the difference is Iranians are religious fanatics and don't hold any human life, including their own, at high value. Iranians don't care, their religious leaders tell them to get rid of US and Israel, and if they die in the doing, then they have it made when they get to heaven. North Koreans are like little kids that bluff to appear great to the normal population, but in reality, none of them want to die. They want their "humanitarian aide" from the rest of the world. The bluff, then back down to get the aide.

    March 6, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. michael

    Iran states loud and clear: first Israel , then USA. They are winning time and the world is repeating the mistakes of 1939. Later it will cost more to win, but it will have to happen.

    March 6, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Emmy Skaddittle

    we must continue for a peaceful solution, going to war should never be the first or even second option, it seems like republicans have a tendency to put our young men and women into harms way without giving it much thought

    March 6, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    @ Woman in California –

    Scheduled to be home in May. Keeping my fingers crossed.

    March 6, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. politicsjoy

    Why is netanyahu and the republicans running off at the mouth? Sadam had Iran scared and dumb G Bush took out Sadam. A gift to Iran. This resulted in Iran going back to its menacing ways and being a threat to the world again. Kudos to the republicans.
    Could someone tell me why middle class people vote republican? They are a bunch of IDIOTS!!!!!

    March 6, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. Mikey

    @Dean – And what would you suggest? Bomb Iran? Invade Iran? How about Syria? Should we intervene there, too? Should we also demand apologies from Afghanistan? Should we make Karzai go after his own citizens? What would be the result of such actions? How many wars should we fight? How belligerent should we be? How would it impact our position in the region? How about the price of oil? Would it further our long term goals? Make us and our children and grandchildren safer?

    It's really easy to criticize from the cheap seats when you have no responsibility for the consequences that arise from your words and actions. Of course, taking cheap shots at President Obama is a favorite hobby of a certain segment of our population. I suggest they leave these complex solutions to those with the intelligence, knowledge, and judgment possessed by the President and his military and diplomatic advisors. The cofident oversimplification of these issues is rooted largely in ignorance.

    March 6, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Man from Fantasy Land

    War never solved anything... except Slavery, Oppression, Genocide, Communism, Fascism, and Nazis

    I am also glad that none of these exist in the world today.

    March 6, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. houbie

    President Obama is starting to sound more like President GW did before Iraq every day. Doesn't look like the Iranians have much time.

    I also remember the Iraqi's in Baghdad casually sipping coffee at outdoor cafes before the first bombs dropped.

    Doubt any of those cups are still around either.

    March 6, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Iran Preparing for Last Days

    For those thinking Iran cares about themselves dying in a nuclear attack on Israel, research the 12th Imam. Iranian leaders believe it is their duty to pave the way for coming of the Last Imam and Christ. It is a high (if not highest) honor to help prepare the earth for judgement day and die for Allah... They WANT this and the reason they are helping Syria...

    Research, learn and be prepared...

    March 6, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Joe

    Liberals are so stupid.

    March 6, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. hatruth

    There isn't really a window of opportunity only a mirage that looks like a window. Iran is very clear that it doesn't want to give up its nuclear program and negotiations/the diplomatic process have so far failed. I'd like to see what Obama thinks he can do to convince Iran, diplomatically, to stop it's nuclear program that hasn't already been tried. To me, the only thing at this point that will stop Iran's nuclear program, is a military strike.

    March 6, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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