President Obama campaign Adviser Michele Flournoy joins Starting Point to talk foreign policy record, relationships with international leaders, and 2012 race.
On Iran, Flournoy says, “If you look at the record of the President, he has led the international community in imposing the most crippling sanctions ever imposed on any country. He has said that all options are on the table including the use of force if that becomes necessary. And I can tell you, from my time in the Pentagon, that option is very real. But I think it’s important that we give diplomacy time to work. We still do have time. But the President has been clear, and consistently clear in his determination to absolutely prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. There’s no doubt about that whatsoever.”
On Israel, Flournoy states, “I think that we have laid out a red line and that is Iran cannot actually get a weapon. And we’ve had extensive, intensive talks with the Israelis. There’s no light between us on the intelligence picture. There’s no light between us on the policy objective. And we’ve worked very closely in a number of areas on diplomacy, on sanctions, to try to further isolate Iran and get them to change their decision making calculus and give up the quest for a bomb.”
She continues, “I think that all of the intelligence communities, and they’ve testified about this publicly, they believe that they’re at least a year away, if not more, from getting a weapon. But remember, the facilities they are using are under AEIA safeguards. There’s a lot that we would see if they were would start to dash towards a bomb. So the belief in the international community is that we still have some time to work this problem, before we ultimately have to make a decision whether or not to use military force to delay the program.”
When CNN Anchor John Berman asks which leaders President Obama is closest with, Flournoy answers, “I think he’s very close to a number of our NATO allies to the President of Turkey to a number of leaders across the Gulf and Asia.”
Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.