President Barack Obama said he believes Iran can still have a peaceful nuclear program with “modest enrichment,” while rejecting Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s requests for a complete stop to enrichment.
“You’ll hear arguments, including potentially from the [Israeli] prime minister, that we can’t accept any enrichment on Iranian soil. Period. Full stop. End of conversation,” Obama said in an address at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC.
Obama said of Netanyahu’s approach, “We have to be more realistic.”
“There are times where I, as president of the United States, am going to have different tactical perspectives than the prime minister of Israel-and that is understandable, because Israel cannot contract out its security,” Obama said.
But when addressing the Saban forum today via video feed, Netanyahu attempted to downplay his differences with Obama.
“I want you to know we can have different perspectives… Most of the time and on most things, if not the major things, we see eye to eye because we share common values, because we’re anchored in deeply democratic societies,” Netanyahu said.