(Wall Street Journal) – President Barack Obama spoke Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Iranâ€™s nuclear program and the two reiterated their stance that Iran shouldnâ€™t have a nuclear weapon, the White House said.
â€œThe two leaders discussed a range of security issues, and the President reaffirmed his and our countryâ€™s unshakeable commitment to Israelâ€™s security,â€ the White House said in a brief summary of the call. â€œThe two leaders underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.â€
Their call comes amid increasing tension between the two leaders. Mr. Netanyahu has pressured Mr. Obama to take a more aggressive stance toward Iran, and in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York Thursday the Israeli leader urged global powers to set a strict limit on Tehranâ€™s nuclear fuel production as the clear â€œred lineâ€ that would trigger military strikes.
He also left room for a diplomatic solution â€“Mr. Obamaâ€™s preferred approachâ€“ by suggesting Israel wouldnâ€™t considering attacking Iran until the spring of next year. He said by then Iran will have amassed enough medium-enriched uranium to convert into fuel for a nuclear bomb in a matter of weeks or months.
Mr. Netanyahu â€œwelcomedâ€ Mr. Obamaâ€™s comments Tuesday to world leaders about Iran, the White House said. Mr. Obama told the gathering of world leaders in New York that the U.S. â€œwill do what we mustâ€ to ensure Iran doesnâ€™t obtain a nuclear weapon.
This is their second call in the last several weeks, and may do little to silence those who have criticized Mr. Obama for not meeting with Mr. Netanyahu in person while heâ€™s in the U.S. The White House has said they didnâ€™t meet because of scheduling conflicts. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Mr. Netanyahu for over an hour Thursday in New York.
The last time Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu spoke, two weeks ago, the call lasted about an hour and was prompted by sharp attacks from the Israeli leader about the Obama administrationâ€™s Israeli policy. This call lasted more than 20 minutes, according to a White House official.