Ambassador Oren: Israel's Clock on Iran 'Ticking Faster' Than Obama's

In an interview to MSNBC, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren says five months of diplomacy on the Iranian nuclear program 'haven't worked.'

Natasha Mozgovaya
Natasha Mozgovaya
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Natasha Mozgovaya
Natasha Mozgovaya

While White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that the Obama Administration still believes that there is "time and space" for a diplomatic track, coupled with sanctions, to succeed in convincing Iranian leadership to stop the nuclear program, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren stressed in an interview to MSNBC that the Israeli clock "is ticking faster."

Ambassador Oren said Israel appreciates Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's reiteration that the U.S. is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but mentioned the "structural differences between the United States and Israel which we can't ignore."

"The United States is a big country with very large capabilities located far from the Middle East," Oren said. "Israel is a small country with certain capabilities located in Iran's backyard. And Israel, not the United States, is threatened almost weekly, if not daily, with annihilation by Iranian leaders.

"We've now had five months of diplomacy," Oren continued, adding that the attempts to get Iran to negotiate an end to its nuclear program "haven't worked."

"We still believe that truly crippling sanctions together with a credible military threat - and that I stress, that's a threat; not that we just say that it's credible, the folks in Tehran have to believe us when we say that - may still deter them. But we also have to be prepared, as President Obama has said, to keep all options on the table, including a military option," Oren said.

Meanwhile, Russia sharply criticized new U.S. sanctions against Iran, saying the measures to punish banks, insurance companies and shippers that help Iran sell its oil would harm Moscow's ties with Washington if Russian firms are affected.

Russia, which has long opposed sanctions beyond those approved by the UN Security Council to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program, called the measures "overt blackmail" and a "crude contradiction of international law."

The United States ceased most trade with Iran many years ago and has put increasing pressure other countries to reduce their business with the Islamic Republic.

The measures approved by Congress on August 1 build on oil trade sanctions signed into law by Obama in December that have prompted Japan, South Korea, India and others to slash purchases of Iranian oil.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op