..."Four years ago, I stood before you and said that 'Israelís security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable.' That belief has guided my actions as President. The fact is, my Administrationís commitment to Israelís security has been unprecedented. Our military and intelligence cooperation has never been closer. Our joint exercises and training have never been more robust.
"Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance has increased every year. We are investing in new capabilities. Weíre providing Israel with more advanced technology Ė the type of products and systems that only go to our closest friends and allies. And make no mistake: we will do what it takes to preserve Israelís Qualitative Military Edge Ė because Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat," the American leader said.
Addressing the Iranian threat, Obama said, "Letís begin with a basic truth that you all understand: no Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map, and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israelís destruction. And so I understand the profound historical obligation that weighs on the shoulders of Bibi Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and all of Israelís leaders.
"A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israelís security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States. Indeed, the entire world has an interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. A nuclear-armed Iran would thoroughly undermine the non-proliferation regime that we have done so much to build. There are risks that an Iranian nuclear weapon could fall into the hands of a terrorist organization," he added.
"It is almost certain that others in the region would feel compelled to get their own nuclear weapon, triggering an arms race in one of the most volatile regions in the world. It would embolden a regime that has brutalized its own people, and it would embolden Iranís proxies, who have carried out terrorist attacks from the Levant to southwest Asia."
The president continued to say that "we all prefer to resolve this issue diplomatically. Having said that, Iranís leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States, just as they should not doubt Israelís sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs. I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say. That includes all elements of American power. A political effort aimed at isolating Iran; a diplomatic effort to sustain our coalition and ensure that the Iranian program is monitored; an economic effort to impose crippling sanctions; and, yes, a military effort to be prepared for any contingency.
"Iranís leaders should know that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as Iíve made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests," Obama declared.