WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had their long-awaited Oval Office face-off on Monday.
The tense talks dealt with Iran’s nuclear threat, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
They may not agree on much, but one thing that Netanyahu told President Obama had a certain ring of truth: Israel and the United States are both enemies of Iran.
“Iran’s leaders know that, too. For them you’re the great Satan. We’re the little Satan. For them we are you and we are us,” Netanyahu said.
President Obama didn’t acknowledge that, preferring instead to send a message to Iran and Jewish voters here at home about America’s commitment to Israel.
“Our commitment to the security of Israel is rock solid,” Obama said.
Commitment or not, Israel’s assessment of Iran’s nuclear capabilities are more pessimistic than the president’s. The Israelis say the time for military intervention is months away. The U.S. appears to think differently.
“We do believe that there is still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution of the issue,” Obama said.
The purpose of the meeting was for the United States to try to stop Israel from a premature bombing mission of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel wants to try to pressure the United States into drawing clear lines in the sand about what will provoke an American military attack.
But Netanyahu held out the possibility of going it alone.
“My supreme responsibility as prime minister of Israel is to ensure Israel remains the master of its fate,” Netanyahu said.
The one sure thing is that there are a lot of things that both sides won’t talk about publicly.
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