Dennis Ross, the White House’s former top Middle East adviser, told a gathering of Jewish philanthropists and leaders that he believes President Obama will use force if necessary to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
“I am absolutely convinced President Obama will use force if all else fails,” Ross said, according to the New York Jewish Week’s Gary Rosenblatt.
He did, however, say that Iran does not currently believe that the U.S. will use force. “For diplomacy to work, Iran has to believe that failed diplomacy will lead to a U.S. use of force,” he said.
Ross, who now holds the title of counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, also warned that Israel now faces a variety of regional threats and unknowns that leave it in a difficult position. He noted that with the shift toward wars waged using missiles, “the Israeli homeland is now vulnerable.”
But he urged Israeli leaders to resist the temptation to hunker down. Instead, he advised a proactive approach toward advancing peace prospects with the Palestinians, calling on Israel to “shape the landscape, and not be shaped by it.”
Read Rosenblatt’s full account of Ross’ remarks here.