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Barack Obama told an AIPAC conference that the Iraq war had endangered Israel. “Because of war in Iraq, Iran, which always posed a greater threat than Iraq, is emboldened,” the Illinois senator and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said Wednesday at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy forum. In a wide-ranging speech, Obama said he would be steadfast in his support for Israel and praised the Jewish state for destroying a nuclear reactor in Syria last September. “I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said to a standing ovation while defending his policy of using direct diplomacy to persuade Iran to end its suspected nuclear weapons program. In a response organized by the campaign of U.S. Sen. John McCain {R-Ariz.), the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. Joseph lieberman (I-Conn.) said Obama was wrong to blame Iran’s resurgent power on the Iraq war.

“If Israel is in danger today, it is not because of American foreign policy,” Lieberman said in a conference call. “It’s because Iran is a terrorist, expansionist state.”

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