Obama Vows ‘Pressure’ on Iran as AIPAC Cheers

Slams Iranian Nuclear Program, Calls Iran 'Hypocritical' on Protests

Speaking today at a high profile America-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) conference, President Barack Obama faced what could have potentially been a hostile audience in the wake of condemnation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for calling on Israel to be open to giving up occupied territories.

So he did what politicians trying to satisfy the pro-Israel lobby have been doing from time immemorial – he condemned Iran. Midway through a comparatively short speech, he promised the US would continue to escalate “pressure” on Iran, and accused the nation of trying to make nuclear weapons.

“We remain committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” Obama declared, to thunderous applause. He then went on to accuse Iran of “hypocrisy” for criticizing the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Bahrain. Obama declared earlier in the week that the US was committed to supporting the Bahrani regime and that the crackdowns showed they simply wanted a return to the “rule of law.”

Going to the Iran well is likely a cynical attempt to placate a potentially hostile lobby, and the thunderous applause suggest it did its job. The allegations against Iran, despite being identical to allegations made for years past, are not backed up by any hard evidence.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.