Former US Secretary of State James A. Baker thinks America is the key to stopping Iran. In a recent sit-down with Charlie Rose, Baker said Israel has the means to delay Iran, while the US has the ability to stop it all together.
That’s not to say the ex-head is advocating quick military action. Baker gave a measured response when probed by Rose on how the US should get involved, saying, “We still have time.”
“We are better equipped for the job,” said Baker, who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. “We may be able to prevent Iran from weaponizing, the Israelis will probably only be able to delay the weaponizing.”
While Baker was adamant that the responsibility fell more on American shoulders than those of the Jewish state, he also cautioned that if and when Israel decides to take a military response, it will mean serious consequences for the US side.
“If Israel does this,” he said, “it’s going to mean loss of American lives.”
Baker suggested strict sanction policies to deter Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, saying that a lengthy sanction scheme could put enough pressure on the Islamic Republic. However, he did concede that if that plan failed, harsher action would be needed.
“That doesn’t mean you’re going to rely on sanctions forever,” Baker said. “That means the military option is going to be used as a last resort. Never take it off the table.”
Baker is just one of several US representatives to voice concern over the possibility that Israel may preemptively strike Iran. Just last weekend, President Barack Obama issued similar remarks, calling for tough sanctions but warning military force could be used, at a nuclear security summit in South Korea.