Obama, Netanyahu vow to prevent Iran from acquiring nuke bombs
Washington: US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Tuesday their determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
In their one-hour phone conversation that the White House described as part of ongoing consultations, the two leaders discussed the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program, and bilateral cooperation on Iran and other security issues.
"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed that they are united in their determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and agreed to continue their close consultations going forward," the White House said in a statement.
The phone talks came as Netanyahu pointed his finger at Washington over the latter's refusal to set a clear red line over Iran's controversial nuclear activity.
The Obama administration insisted that there is still "time and space" to pursue the two-track approach of sanctions and diplomacy to pressure Iran to give up its uranium enrichment activities.
"The world tells Israel ''wait, there's still time''. And I say, ''Wait for what? Wait until when?'' Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu said Tuesday at a joint press conference with visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have threatened time and again preemptive air strikes on Iran's nuclear sites to stop its uranium enrichment activities, though the Islamic republic insists on the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
Washington, however, is in no mood to see an armed conflict over Iran in an election year as Obama is seeking a second term in November.
The White House statement also rejected press reports that said the administration turned down Netanyahu's request for a meeting with Obama in Washington after he attends the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.
It said there was never such a request from the prime minister.