In an interview today with Israel’s Channel 2, President Obama sought to reassure Israelis of US support, and to try to sell the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, which the Israeli government vehemently opposes.
Obama said only a diplomatic settlement with Iran would ensure that the nation verifiably wasn’t working on nuclear weapons, and that a military attack, even one with direct US involvement, would not “fix” the situation or deter Iran.
Of course, both US and Israeli intelligence services have repeatedly affirmed that Iran’s nuclear program is purely civilian at this point, but long-standing acrimony, coupled with decades of constant Israeli threats to attack them, have convinced hawkish politicians in both countries that Iran would eventually use the civilian program as a launching pad for a military one.
There is, of course, no way to convince the hawks that anything short of a full-scale war will “stop” Iran, and they’ve been claiming an imminent acquisition of nuclear arms for literally decades, so long they seemingly believe their own hype over the objections of their intelligence communities. Even if Obama convinces Israelis that a war is a bad idea, expect the Netanyahu government to keep railing against diplomacy on general principle, at least until a huge enough military aid agreement is signed.