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Obama Repeats Iran Pledge, Decries 'Loose Talk Of War'


U.S. President Barack Obama (right) will present Israeli President Shimon Peres (left) with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

U.S. President Barack Obama (right) will present Israeli President Shimon Peres (left) with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

U.S. President Barack Obama has warned Iran not to test U.S. resolve concerning Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

Although he said the United States will not hesitate to use military force against Iran if necessary to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, he warned that there is currently "too much loose talk of war," during a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Obama said it is now time to let ratcheted-up sanctions against Iran take effect and to solidify "the broad international coalition we have built."

Obama also announced that he will present Israeli President Shimon Perez with the highest U.S. civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Obama will meet in Washington on March 5 with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Iran maintains its nuclear program has exclusively peaceful aims.

Another U.S. Rescue Of Iranian At Sea

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy said on March 4 that two of its ships participated in the rescue of an Iranian whose boat capsized in the Persian Gulf.

The Iranian's dhow sank in bad weather and later the U.S. Navy vessels spotted the Iranian in a lifeboat. He said there were five other people aboard the dhow, four of whom had died and one was missing. The Navy reportedly retrieved three bodies from the water and searched without success for the other two missing Iranians.

U.S. Navy ships rescued Iranians stranded in the Gulf twice in less than one week in January.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP

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