Mitchell Reports | March 07, 2012
>> cities. israel 's prime minister has returned to israel after high stakes talks with the president about iran , the two men agree that iran should not be allowed to get a nuclear weapon , but they do not agree on how to present it from having, we have the israel ambassador to the united states , this is his first meeting since the big meetings, thank you for being here. they are much closer together on the decision by the u.s. not to be willing to contain an iranian nuclear weapon , that is not acceptable, and the president has been forceful in his language, what he said in the news conference and in the aipac speech is that there's time for diplomacy, is that an accurate characterization of how much time there's before military action has to be used? well, first of all, yes this is my first interview after the meeting between the prime minister and the president. the president made very important points both publically and privately in our meeting at the white house . he said, again, that all options are on the table and those include a military option for the united states . he said that containment is not an option that he will not, the united states will not try to contain or coexist with iranian nuclear weapons , beyond that, he recognized that israel has a right to decide for itself how best to defend itself, that israel has a right to defend itself against any middle eastern threat or any combination of threats, very important points for us. now, of course, you know, america, president obama said there's a windows for diplomacy, we think there's time but not very much time. every day that goes by, less time, we see a vast distance between ourselves and the middle east . we are a tiny country with a small window and we look out the window and we see iran . so quite naturally our sense of how much time is left would differ.
>> well, the president sees more time for diplomacy and we were told that the u.s. intelligence is that iran has not yet decided whether or not to take the step to build a bomb and after that decision is made which is united states has confidence it would know about, that then there's a year, a year's time before anything might have to be done milita militarily, do you agree with that time line ?
>> so far, iran has built an under ground nuclear facility trying to hide its activities from the world. it has been enriching uranium to a high rate, that has no other explanation than for a nuclear program . that has been confirmed now several times and they are advancing quickly on a ballistic system that is capable of caring nuclear war heads, and this is confirmed by all the intelligence agencies . there's a question of responsibility here. the leader of israel has an immense, historic responsibility to meet this threat which is right next door to us, it's not far away .
>> this is the president's comment at the news conference yesterday, where he spoke out against what basically mitt romney was clear, that it was directed at governor romney's speech to aipac, the president was saying i'm the commander in chief, let's see what he had to say.
>> when i see the casualness with which some of the folks talk about war, i'm reminded of the costs involved in war. this is no a game.
>> there's no doubt that those who are suggesting or proposinger on beating the drums of war. should explain clearly to the american people what they think the costs and benefits would be.
>> are we at a stage where there are only months before israel with the smaller space with the different window, might have to take action, or is there more time.
>> let me respond to the clip, i cannot see it, i can hear it and i read it yesterday. that is, we are not going to get involved in internal american politics , clearly. but i can say that there are a few countries that understand the price more than the state of israel , i have personally three kids in the army, all of them have been in combat, i've been in the army for 30 years, we know the price. believe me we know the price and nobody takes it casually. but while we are focused on the price, why don't we focus on the price for a he cousecond of allowing a nuclear weapon , this is a country that sponsored terror around the world.
>> the president made it clear that he will not let that happen, i think the difference is how quickly does the united states and israel think it can happen and how quickly it needs to be stopped?
>> still, you have to, you cannot overlook what the world will look like the day after iran gets a nuclear weapon . whether it be oil prices, iran can shut is straits of hormuz, this is a country that tried to blow up restaurants in downtown washington . i think it's important to have that discussion as well andrea.
>> ambassador, michael oren , can i ask you, did prime minister netanyahu leave with a better sense that this president has his back as president obama said in the oval office ?
>> we have a continuing and very close discussion with the united states of america over irans and a number of middle eastern issues, the entire region is aflame, it is a very friendly and constructive dialog we have been having. and but at the end of the day , as president obama said, only israel can decide what is best for its defense, only israel has the right to decide how to defend itself.
>> michael oren , also a pleasure, i know you have in a busy week.