What Emerged from the Obama-Netanyahu Meeting in Washington


obama-netanyahu2After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu at the White House on Monday, President Barack Obama said: “It is imperative that Iran not possess a nuclear weapon. That is important for American security; it is important for Israeli security; it’s important for world security….And given the statements and actions from the Iranian regime in the past – the threats against Israel, the acts against Israel – it is absolutely clear that words are not sufficient, that we have to have actions that give the international community confidence that, in fact, they are meeting their international obligations fully, and that they are not in a position to have a nuclear weapon.

“We enter into these negotiations [with Iran] very clear-eyed. They will not be easy. And anything that we do will require the highest standards of verification….We take no options off the table, including military options, in terms of making sure that we do not have nuclear weapons in Iran that would destabilize the region and potentially threaten the United States of America.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “The most important challenge is preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. I appreciate…the statement you made that Iran’s conciliatory words have to be matched by real actions – transparent, verifiable, meaningful actions. Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction. So for Israel, the ultimate test of a future agreement with Iran is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program.” (White House)

What emerged from the brief joint appearance by Obama and Netanyahu after Monday’s meeting was an obvious effort to publicly play down any differences about Iran. Obama sent a message that the U.S. was well aware of what Netanyahu has been warning, that what was important were actions, not words, and that the U.S. would not be taken in by Rouhani’s “charm offensive.” Obama also stressed that “all options are still on the table” – alluding to the option of a military strike if Iran does not back down.
Netanyahu did not come out against a U.S.-Iranian dialogue, and expressed his appreciation for the work that has been done to place the sanctions regime on Iran. The message that Obama and Netanyahu wanted Tehran to hear was that on Iran’s nuclear issue, the U.S. and Israel remain on the same page.

{Andy Heller-Matzav.com Newscenter}