Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United States, at AIPAC Conference

March 2, 2015

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

[As delivered]


On policy, the negotiations that we and our partners have entered into with Iran – negotiations aimed centrally at denying Iran a nuclear weapon – have generated reasonable debate. My colleague and dear friend, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, will speak in depth about Iran later tonight. But I am struck that when I read about alleged policy differences on the Iran nuclear negotiations, I rarely see mention of the foundational strategic agreement between the United States and Israel – an agreement that undergirds our entire engagement with Iran. The United States of America will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period. [ Applause]

Now, let me put President Obama’s commitment to denying Iran a nuclear weapon in context. The Obama administration has invested more than $20 billion dollars in foreign military financing for Israel – far more than for any other country, and more than at any previous time in the history of the U.S.-Israel relationship. [Applause] And – and the President not only committed to denying Iran a nuclear weapon before negotiations with Iran began, he has reiterated the same commitment during negotiations, and he will keep his commitment whether negotiations collapse or produce a diplomatic solution that meets our bottom lines.

Maybe the President has made this point so often that it isn’t heard in the same way anymore, but we have to keep repeating it – talks, no talks, agreement, no agreement – the United States will take whatever steps are necessary to protect our national security and that of our closest allies. [Applause]

We believe diplomacy is the preferred route to secure our shared aim; but if diplomacy should fail, we know the stakes of a nuclear-armed Iran as well as everyone here. We will not let it happen.

There will never be a sunset on America’s commitment to Israel’s security. Never.