Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday said that Israel is trying to bully the United States into attacking Iran unprovoked and that Americans should feel insulted if their government takes marching orders from Israel.
“Is it the Zionists who must tell the United States government what to do, such as form a red line on Iran’s nuclear issues, and the United States government must make such vital decisions under the influence of the Zionists?” Ahmadinejad asked.
Indeed, much of the debate in the US over the Iran issue has been centered on whether or not Israel, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would succeed in pressuring the Obama administration into a more hawkish, pro-war posture towards Iran.
The Obama administration has placated Israel’s inflated fears about an Iranian nuclear weapons program by heaping harsh economic sanctions and beefing up American military presence in the Gulf, surrounding Iran. But the administration has also adamantly reiterated the US intelligence consensus that Iran has not had a nuclear weapons program since 2003.
Ahmadinejad also claimed Iran doesn’t take the threat of an Israeli strike very seriously. “We, generally speaking, do not take very seriously the issue of the Zionists and the possible dangers emanating from them,” he told the Post.
When asked if he thought Netanyahu was bluffing, Ahmadinejad responded in the affirmative, adding that this was a “common consensus.”
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