WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that diplomacy can still resolve the crisis over Iran’s possible pursuit of nuclear weapons, and he accused his Republican critics of “beating the drums of war.”
“Those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities,” Obama said. “They are not commander in chief.”
Tension with Iran, and Obama’s preference for restraint, dominated his first full news conference of the year, held on the same day that Republican Super Tuesday voting was drawing attention away from the Obama White House.
Obama said his critics are forgetting the “cost of war” in their rush to punish Iran and defend Israel, which sees a nuclear Iran as a mortal threat in its Mideast neighborhood.
Obama said he is focused on “crippling sanctions” already imposed on Iran and on international pressure to keep that nation from developing a nuclear weapon.