The Madeleine Brand Show for March 7, 2012

Tensions over Iranian nuclear program hit the campaign trail

Obama Meets With Israeli PM Netanyahu At White House

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office at the White House on March 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Tensions remain high despite Iran's Tuesday agreement to engage in direct talks with several countries, including the US, over its controversial nuclear program.

The most vocal opposition to Iran's uranium enrichment has come, predictably, from Israel, spurring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Washington, D.C., this week to urge military action.

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, joins the show to discuss Iran's nuclear program.

Concerns over the inefficacy of ongoing talks have increased this past week and were vocalized yesterday in several speeches to AIPAC - the influential pro-Israeli lobby. Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich all criticized the current administration's handling of Iran's threat.

"We want to say to the government of Iran, 'You want to cease to exist, come play,'" Gingrich told several hundred people at the US Space and Rocket Center. "'Don’t think we’re going to tolerate you illegally blocking the Strait of Hormuz and threatening the entire world’s oil production and oil to the entire industrial world. It would be the end of your government. So, when you send the note saying you’re doing it, consider it a suicide note.'"

President Obama responded to criticism yesterday saying, "When I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I'm reminded of the costs involved in war. This is not a game. And there's nothing casual about it."

Guest:

David Sanger is chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times.


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