The White House on Friday dismissed statements made by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday that the Obama administration had “thrown allies like Israel under the bus” regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
“Cooperation with Israel between our military and intelligence communities has never been closer” under the Obama administration, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
“Assistance provided to Israel by the United States has never been greater than it has been under President [Barack] Obama. We have an extremely close relationship with Israel, which is appropriate given our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.”
Romney, speaking the night before at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, had criticized Obama’s stance on Iran. “In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran,” Romney said. “We’re still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning.”
Regarding Iran, Carney reiterated previous statements asserting the president’s “firm commitment that we must prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” He pointed to Obama’s record of forging “an international consensus — a consensus of approbation directed at Iran” for refusing to give up its nuclear program.
“When President Obama took office, the world was divided on this issue, and Iran was united; the opposite is now true,” Carney said.
“It is the president’s belief that the best way to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon is to achieve that goal through a diplomatic solution and a choice by Iran to forgo its nuclear ambition,” he said.
Carney did not mention the president’s previous assertion that the United States is keeping all options on the table — a veiled reference to the potential use of military force should diplomatic stratagems fail.