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Report: Obama focused on Iran diplomacy in tense meeting with Netanyahu

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WASHINGTON — Little love was lost in the March 5 meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Western diplomatic sources.

The sources said Obama may travel to Iran in a bid for reconciliation and that his meeting with Netanyahu pointed to what many are describing as a poisoned atmosphere between the leaders.

President Barack Obama with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office on March 5.

“There’s a lot of hate in this relationship, and this is no exaggeration,” the diplomat said.

The sources said Obama, who quietly remains in contact with Teheran’s
leadership, warned Netanyahu not to “do anything reckless” regarding
military operations in the Middle East.

The sources said Obama sees Netanyahu as an ally of the opposition Republican Party while the prime minister sees the president as ready to abandon Israel, Middle East Newsline reported.

The sources as well as those close to the White House said Obama has ruled out any U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure. They said Obama wants to cap his presidency with a visit to Iran that would usher an era of U.S. reconciliation with Teheran.

“The president sees Iran as a legacy issue the way [the late President Richard] Nixon saw China,” a congressional aide close to the White House said. “He believes he will then be seen in history as a peacemaker who prevented a catastrophic war.”

The sources said the two-hour meeting failed to coordinate Israeli and U.S. positions regarding Iran, with the president expressing opposition to any attack on Teheran during 2012.

“The president did not want to have a detailed discussion on Iran’s
nuclear weapons program,” a Western diplomat briefed on the meeting said.

“Instead, Obama said Iran has not decided to go nuclear and could be swayed
against developing weapons.”

The president was said to have
threatened the Israeli prime minister that relations between Jerusalem and
Washington could be harmed should the Jewish state conduct a military strike
on Iran without U.S. coordination.

“Netanyahu mostly listened and at one point said that the Israeli
government was the only one responsible for the defense of Israel and the
Jewish people,” the diplomat said. “But he did not respond to Obama’s

The sources said Netanyahu was not surprised by Obama’s refusal to
consider a military option against Iran in 2012.

They said the Israeli intelligence community has determined that Obama deemed a U.S. reconciliation with Iran his leading foreign policy goal this year.

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1 Comment for “Report: Obama focused on Iran diplomacy in tense meeting with Netanyahu”

  1. The Ayatollah has declared that Israel should be destroyed and all Jews should be killed. Israel is alarmed by the threat to its people and to its survival, but, Obama says not to take preventive measures. The Ayatollah has also said that Iran will close the Strait of Hormuz. One threat involves oil, and the other involves a Holocaust. Obama has moved US military assets into position to keep the Strait open. In other words, he has taken preventive measures to address the threat to the flow of oil.

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