US President Barack Obama reaffirmed his strong backing for key ally Israel, warning Iran that he would not hesitate to use force, if required, to stop it developing a nuclear weapon.

"Iran's leaders should know that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I've made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests," Obama said in a keynote address to a pro-Israeli lobby group on Sunday.

Obama said there is 'too much loose talk of war' in showdown with Iran in his address to the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC].

The address comes one day before a White House meeting with Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Earlier, Israeli President Shimon Peres in his address, said "peace is always our first option, but, if we are forced to fight, trust me: We shall prevail,"

More soon...

Source: Agencies