Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens as President Obama speaks during their meeting on Monday in the Oval Office.
After reaffirming his support of Israel at an AIPAC conference on Sunday, President Obama met on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, where one particular issue loomed large: Iran. The two heads of state struck a united pose, but differences in their strategies regarding a potential nuclear threat from Tehran, however unproven, were sure to frame the day’s discussion. —KA
The New York Times:
Appearing with Mr. Netanyahu in the Oval Office before their meeting, Mr. Obama declared that “the United States will always have Israel’s back.” He reiterated that the United States would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but he added, “We do believe there is still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution to this issue.”
Mr. Netanyahu, sitting next to the president, declared that “Israel must have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.” He thanked Mr. Obama for affirming, in a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group on Sunday, that, as Mr. Netanyahu put it, “Israel has the sovereign right to make its own decisions.” Israeli officials interpreted this to mean that the United States would not try to block a preemptive Israeli strike.