Obama addresses chemical weapons, Iran in Israel presser
President holds joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu
- Duration 6:23
- Date Mar 20, 2013
President holds joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu
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A very little daylight Ed Henry as I mentioned is traveling with the president he's live in Jerusalem for us this evening there.
A lot of talk about the reports of chemical weapons being used in Syria.
And the definition of chemical weapons it varies widely between hours over here and there's over there.
It does -- the president was a little bit on defense because he had a reporter.
From Israel questioning and suggesting in his question the president has done nothing the US has done nothing.
To try and stop the slaughter in Syria the president push back on that.
And said that while it hasn't been -- support there's been others report given to the Syrian rebels he was also very skeptical as you said about reports suggesting maybe.
This Syrian rebels there were involved -- using chemical weapons of the president was very careful to make sure the US doesn't get brought into a military conflict on.
Wild allegations about the use of chemical weapons he stressed that the US is carefully investigating whether or not all those reports you -- whether or not the regime of this year -- -- in Syria we again he said his days are numbered in power but said we have to carefully investigate whether or not chemical weapons were used but the president did put out another red -- as -- noted in saying that if chemical weapons were used by the regime.
Take a listen what will happen.
When you start.
Seeing weapons that can cause potential.
Devastation and mass casualties.
And you let that genie out of the ball.
You're looking potentially add even more horrific scenes that we've already seen in -- And the international community.
Has to act on that additional information.
The international community would have to act that was the key part there in what the president said he's facing pressure from Israel and other -- and another stop on this trip.
Will be Jordan where they're already worried about refugees coming over from -- they're worried about the civil war in Syria.
Crossing over it did Jordan and then here in Israel this concern for prime minister Netanyahu and his government.
That in fact these chemical weapons not only could be used by the regime in Syria but some of the weapons could be headed off to al-Qaeda could be headed off to Hezbollah it could be used by terrorists against Israeli citizens right where I'm standing out.
-- you know in this there was reporting on another network last night Ed.
One which -- familiar which suggested that there was a high probability.
That chemical weapons had been used that there were suggestions that if so the president would have been.
Briefed on the plane they would have gone through a drill there were concerns about whether that cornered Bashar Al Assad might kids.
Might hit Jerusalem or parts of Israel it was.
It was dramatic and and and and it made me wonder if we miss something and I just wonder.
What your sense of where we are on this matter today is.
Well it's still.
Is quite confusing frankly because there -- reports all over the map there was.
Prime minister Netanyahu -- intelligence minister here in Israel today.
Telling army radio that that there are suggestions to him that chemical weapons in fact.
Were used by the Syrian government but then there was a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Where in fact there were lawmakers kicking this around in the US -- -- -- Syria mr.
Basically said look we don't know this as a fact yet -- and -- it still needs to be investigated the ambassador of course echoing.
What President Obama just at the news covered the final point I'd make is another key Republican Michael -- Tuesday.
House intelligence chairman.
He was on CBS news this morning it's it -- that he thinks it appears to him they chemical weapons were used but he noted he's a former FBI official.
Who wants to actually see the forensic evidence and I think that's important for Republican lawmaker to underline here somebody who might not be a big fan of the president saying look.
We need evidence before we go out there and say in fact chemical weapons have been used there have to be very careful.
Ed Henry on a historic day in Jerusalem with -- -- reports tonight on fox report 7 eastern six and Oxford thank you wanna talk more about Israeli US relations it.
How it all works with Iran some context and analysis -- hi Malcolm he's the deputy director of the center for strategic and international studies.
Middle East program on -- nice to see you again thank you.
Good to see you -- it it it people talk about these two men as adversaries have come from different places today they say there's not a daylight on or not much daylight -- all on Iran.
That the thanks and accolades and friendship and joking and all the rest and where the best friends it doesn't sound as if there's a problem here are we missing something.
The optics are good -- and everybody wants this trip to be successful there's a lot at stake for the president there's a lot at stake for the Israeli prime minister.
And they talked about the fact that there's no daylight between the US and Israel on Iran but there is a big difference in the language that they're speaking behind.
That behind the scenes away from the cameras the Israelis are talking about stopping Iran's capability.
To build a nuclear weapon where the president is talking about stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons -- that difference in capabilities.
Is what divides them right now yet it -- end it seemed like at the end of the news conference there in the last question the prime minister tried to make that distinction.
He did and it's a distinction that he's been trying to make for the last several years and that's why there's a difference in the timeframe the president talks about a year.
For Iran to acquire and assemble a nuclear weapon.
And the prime minister acknowledged that timetable but he also said.
And he's also said in the past.
-- that it's about acquiring the capability all of the components.
To build a nuclear weapon that the Israelis are really concerned about -- I'm short on time because of the link that news conference -- -- in your estimation what's what's the biggest hope what would be.
The best win out of this trip for the two sides.
Well the Winthrop for President Obama is to convince Israelis.
To give his strategy of sanctions and diplomacy more time that's essentially what he's trying to do he's reached out.
To the Israeli public he wants to connect with the Israeli public he's reinforced they permanence and and the importance of the US Israeli relationship and he's trying to urge.
Prime minister to be cautious and to go along with the president's strategy time -- from the center for strategic and international studies time as always thanks.