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Barack Obama said the world should tighten the screws on Iran before Israel feels its back is up against the wall.

“My job as president would be to try to make sure that we are tightening the screws diplomatically on Iran, that we’ve mobilized the world community to go after Iran’s program in a serious way, to get sanctions in place so that Iran starts making a difficult calculation,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said Monday at a campaign event in Iowa, according to news reports. “We’ve got to do that before Israel feels like its back is to the wall.”

The U.S. senator from Illinois refused to speculate on whether or not Israel feels it has a “green light” to take military action against Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“I don’t want to speculate on whether or not Israel feels like it has a green light or not, because that would be speculation,” Obama said. “What is not speculation is that we have to act much more forcefully and effectively on the world stage to contain Iran’s nuclear capabilities.”

Obama said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a “game-changer for the region.”

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