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Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel @ AIPAC

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Published on 4 Jun 2008

Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama vowed Wednesday he would work to "eliminate" the threat posed by Iran to security in the Middle East and around the globe. "There's no greater threat to Israel or to the peace and stability of the region than Iran," he told the American Israel Public Affairs Council (AIPAC). "The danger from Iran is grave and real and my goal will be to eliminate this threat," he said, adding loudly to add emphasis that he would "everything" to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. "The Iranian regime supports violent extremes. And challenges across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race," he told AIPAC's annual meeting in Washington. Calling for "aggressive, principled diplomacy" to tackle the problem of the Islamic regime in Tehran, he also warned he would never take the military option off the table in guaranteeing US and Israeli security. "As president of the United States, I would be willing to lead tough and principled diplomacy with the appropriate Iranian leader at a time and place of my choosing -- if, and only if -- it can advance the interests of the United States."
http://www.metimes.com/Politics/2008/...
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may have taken care of his Hamas problem on Wednesday with a speech to the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby. The Illinois senator was ridiculed, criticized and generally harassed back in April when a top Hamas adviser, Ahmed Yousef, told a radio interviewer that the Palestinian militant group — considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government — liked Obama and hoped he would win the U.S. presidential election. Yousef's remarks were labeled a Hamas endorsement and Republican John McCain used them as part of a fundraising appeal to supporters. Obama's denunciations of Hamas and criticism of McCain over the incident did little to undo the damage. That may have changed Wednesday, when Obama went before American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington a day after clinching the Democratic nomination and declared his strong support for Israel. Israel's security is sacrosanct and it must retain a qualitative military advantage, Obama said. Any peace deal must include Palestinian recognition that Jerusalem would remain Israel's undivided capital, he said. Hamas promply unendorsed Obama, a Christian who has had difficulty dispelling a rumor campaign suggesting he is a Muslim and that his advisers have a pro-Arab bent. "Obama's comments have confirmed that there will be no change in the U.S. administration's foreign policy on the Arab-Israeli conflict," Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters in Gaza. "The Democratic and Republican parties support totally the Israeli occupation at the expense of the interests and rights of Arabs and Palestinians," he said. "Hamas does not differentiate between the two presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, because their policies regarding the Arab-Israel conflict are the same and are hostile to us, therefore we do have no preference and are not wishing for either of them to win," Zuhri said.
http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/2008...

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