JERUSALEM, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday commended a resolution last week by the U.S. Senate calling for the Obama administration to set a declarative " red line," against Iran developing "nuclear capability".
Friday's resolution, like a similar statement passed in May in the House of Representatives, goes farther than recent statements by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who dismissed explicit appeals by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make the ability to construct a nuclear weapon - and not the actual possession of such a weapon - a move that would call for direct military intervention.
"It is a vital national interest of the United States to prevent the government of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability."
Congress "joins the president in ruling out any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat," the statement read.
While the non-binding, non-partisan resolution, which passed 90 to 1, "is more declarative than operative," ministry Spokesman Paul Hirschson allowed in conversation with Xinhua on Monday that, "we're happy to see it," and said it was a step, similar to Canada 's cutting off diplomatic relations, "...critical to increase pressure on Iran."
Israel and much of the west, including the U.S. and the United Nations nuclear watchdog group, the International Atomic Energy Agency, contend that Iran's nuclear enrichment program is a cover for a clandestine weaponization program. Iran denies the charge, asserting that the program is for medical research.
"The bottom line is that it's good to see another expression of affirmation of the Iranians violating everything that the international community wants," Hirschson said of the resolution, first introduced in February.
While the sense of the resolution "is not new, ... it's important to see this and to see more," Hirschson said. "It was good to see another affirmation that it's not just an Israeli issue; it's an international issue."
Obama on Sunday likened Israel's urging the U.S. to toughen it' s stance against Iran to "noise."
Speaking to the 60 Minutes news magazine, Obama said, "When it comes to our national security decisions - any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people. And I am going to block out any noise that's out there."
However, he added, "Now I feel an obligation, not pressure but obligation, to make sure that we're in close consultation with the Israelis on these issues. Because it affects them deeply. They're one of our closest allies in the region. And we've got an Iranian regime that has said horrible things that directly threaten Israel 's existence."
On September 16, Netanyahu told an American news program that Teheran is "...six months away from being about 90 percent of having enriched uranium for an atom bomb."
Noting the wave of violent protests engulfing the Arab world over perceived insults to the prophet Mohammed by a video clip, Netanyahu noted, "Iran with nuclear weapons would mean that the kind of fanaticism you see storming your embassies would have a nuclear weapon."