Obama, Netanyahu Meet In D.C. To Discuss Miltary Action Against Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Taking sharply different stands, President Barack Obama on Monday urged pressure and diplomacy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized his nation's right to a pre-emptive attack. Even in proclaiming unity, neither leader gave ground on how to resolve the crisis.

Seated together in the Oval Office, Obama and Netanyahu at times tried to speak for each other, and other times spoke past one another. The president and prime minister are linked by the history and necessity of their nations' deep alliance, if not much personal warmth, and both sought to steer the Iran agenda on their terms.

"I know that both the prime minister and I prefer to resolve this diplomatically," Obama said. "We understand the costs of any military action."

If he agreed, Netanyahu said nothing about sanctions or talks with Iran, or Obama's position that there still is time to try to deter Iran peacefully. Instead, Netanyahu drew attention back to Obama's acknowledgement that Israel is a sovereign land that can protect itself how it sees fit.

"I believe that's why you appreciate, Mr. President, that Israel must reserve the right to defend itself," Netanyahu said.

Israel, he added, must remain "the master of its fate."

Israel has not yet decided whether to launch a unilateral strike on Iran, a point underscored in the White House meetings.

Across days of comments, speeches and interviews, Obama and Netanyahu left no doubt about where they stand on Iran. Far less clear is whether they have done anything to alter each other's position in what has become a moment of reckoning over Iran, and an important foreign policy issue in the U.S. presidential race.

Both are adamant Iran must not develop a nuclear bomb. Obama's aim is to keep Israel from launching an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, fearing that would do little lasting good toward the goal and engulf the region and the United States in another war.

Senior Obama administration officials said the talks at the White House left the two sides closer than they were a week ago. The Israelis walked away with prominent statements from Obama that he would not stand for containing a nuclear-armed Iran, and that the crisis was in the United States' interests to solve.

In turn, Israelis did acknowledge privately they would prefer a diplomatic solution, despite enormous skepticism of the Iranian government, officials said. And there were no demands that Obama set a new "red line" of what it would take for a U.S. strike - the U.S. position remains that Iran must not get a nuclear weapon.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversations.

Netanyahu emphasized that Israel must defend itself from an Iranian nuclear threat.

He said after his talks with Obama: "I think I was listened to and understood."

The last time the two men met in the Oval Office, in May, Netanyahu lectured Obama in front of reporters as differences over Mideast peace unfolded. This time, their body language as they spoke was not so glaring but still telling: Obama addressed the media; Netanyahu spoke directly to Obama and locked on him.

Both leaders see a nuclear-armed Iran as a nightmare that could threaten Israel's survival and potentially allow terrorists to grab unthinkably deadly power. Their difference is not over whether force may be needed - Obama has been specific on his willingness to use it - but whether the time for such a drastic step is nearing.

Israel fears it may soon lose its window to take out Iran's nuclear facilities; Obama sees a longer period for intervention, based on Iran's current nuclear capability and the toll of growing sanctions. He has put increasing emphasis on the political, economic and potential death toll that could come with opening a new Mideast war.

There are other election-year stakes for Obama.

He is under pressure from Republican rivals, and even some Democratic allies, over his backing for Israel. That perception, in turn, can play an important role in swing states such as Florida, where there are many Jewish voters, and in Obama's ability to raise money for his campaign.

"The United States will always have Israel's back when it comes to Israel's security," Obama said. Netanyahu took it further.

He said Americans know Israel is their only reliable democratic ally in the Mideast, and that Iran sees the two countries as inseparable enemies.

"For them, you're the Great Satan, and we're the Little Satan," Netanyahu said. "For them, we are you and you're us. And, you know something, Mr. President - at least on this last point, I think they're right. We are you, and you are us. ... Israel and America stand together."

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful. It has called for Israel's destruction.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by princess hill Location: north carolina on Mar 7, 2012 at 06:17 PM
    its time for israel to stand on its own we have to learn our place in the us if we take sides were only hanging ourselves.
    • reply
      by you are kidding right on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:07 AM in reply to princess hill
      No, we must help Israel, they are an ally and if we turn our backs on allies, who will help us if needed?
  • by To Snake Location: enc on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:28 AM
    Yes, I believe in the Holocaust-it is the GOP Neo-Nazi candidate, Art Jones from Illinois who doesn't. Not one word has been said about him from the party!
  • by GOP=war! Location: enc on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:14 AM
    War on women. Class war. War on Iran! That is all they know!
    • reply
      by dim's= anti Americian on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:44 AM in reply to GOP=war!
      Take away jobs, more big government, class war, race war, more welfare. The dim's are anti American!!! It's all they know!
  • by History Student Location: NC on Mar 6, 2012 at 05:33 PM
    NETANYAHU CONTROLS OBAMA'S FATE Published on DickMorris.com on March 6, 2012 If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to seal President Obama's fate, all he has to do is to attack Iran. It is clear from Obama's AIPAC speech that the president will continue to talk about diplomacy and sanctions for the remainder of his term and will take no military action against Iran. If Israel attacks Iran, she will achieve three things: a. Israel will buy time by delaying the Iranian nuclear program by one to three years. b. Those extra years will give the effective sanctions, only now being imposed, time to work. c. The resulting increase in the price of oil - and its impact on the American economy - will doom Obama's re-election chances, assuring that a pro-Israeli Republican Administration takes power. With a Republican in the White House and in control of Congress, Israel will be well positioned to derail permanently the Iranian nuclear program. Obama could never recover from the run-up of oil prices that would follow an Israeli attack. His refusal to approve the Keystone Pipeline, to drill in the ANWR reserve, and to issue permits for deep sea drilling, all make him ultra-vulnerable on the gas price issue. He has no good answers on the subject. How ironic that Netanyahu, therefore, really controls Obama's fate. He can't re-elect his sworn enemy (I doubt anyone can do that) but he can defeat him and likely will do so. Netanyahu has to face the fundamental fact that Israel cannot survive another four years of an Obama presidency. Freed of the constraints that the need to get re-elected imposes, the president's anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bias will come out in virulent form with likely lethal implications for Israel. If Bibi lets Obama get re-elected, he will be dooming the Jewish State to extinction.
    • reply
      by Lavon on Mar 7, 2012 at 04:04 AM in reply to History Student
      Do you still think Herman Cain is going to win? LOL
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil Co on Mar 7, 2012 at 05:54 AM in reply to Lavon
        Thats an interresting post Lavon however, The Howler Monkey is the loudest monkey and the loudest land animal. The only animal that is louder than the Howler Monkey is the Blue Whale. The Howler's call can be heard up to three miles (4.8 km) away. The Howler is the largest New World monkey (monkeys from South, North, and Central America). These social primates live high in the trees (the canopy) of the rain forests of southern Brazil, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Howlers have a life span of about 20 years. These monkeys are in decline due to a loss of habitat.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:31 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          Mmmmm, snake man, what are you talking about? Right now you are making less sense then la on. Which is really saying something.
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil Co on Mar 7, 2012 at 03:17 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          Thanks, that was my point.....now that was funny!
        • reply
          by And ... on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:21 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          Your point is on your tinfoil hat!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 05:56 AM in reply to Lavon
        What? Where did you get that. It's too early for you to drink.
      • reply
        by REM on Mar 7, 2012 at 06:55 AM in reply to Lavon
        History student took all that time to write a well thought out post, and all you can come back with is babble about Herman Cain. This proves that giving every U.S. citizen the right o vote is a terrible idea. You should be a land owner, or some other significantly qualifier in order to vote. I wonder how many liberal drones there are like you...
        • reply
          by To REM on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:12 AM in reply to REM
          History Student cut and pasted an article-He thought of NOTHING and he wrote NOTHING. Dick Morris is a right-wing web site. Now, you are proposing that only landowners should vote, but you deny a class war? The GOP swears this is not their idea and here you come along and admit it! Not to worry, Americans see this every time Romney opens his mouth! HS is nothing more than a ventriloquist dummy for right-wing writers!
        • reply
          by REM on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:53 AM in reply to REM
          Ok, you're right. I re-read that and didn't realize that came from an article. As for the "class warfare" though, I can't understand why you would resolve to call it class warfare to limit the amount of moron degenerates the ability to vote themselves more handouts from the taxpayers. I say until we pass a fair tax bill, the only ones allowed to vote are TAX PAYERS. Half of this country DOESN'T PAY TAXES! In fact, a large percentage get PAID to live in this country. Do you seriously not see a problem with that?
    • reply
      by To HS on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:05 AM in reply to History Student
      Nothing is "clear". The president has taken nothing off the table. At the same time he was closing in on Bin Laden, you were complaining about his being "soft"! Meanwhile the GOP is saying the only thing it knows how to say-go to WAR! Of course, they never pay for it, nor do they fight in it! We have a president who isn't lying to us just to go to war!
    • reply
      by And... on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:24 AM in reply to History Student
      I'm glad he turned down a foreign Company to build here , we should have an american company build the pipeline. Some on flash some cash to the GOP and they pushed a poor idea, again.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 03:19 PM
    Got your back.... yes stab in the back.
  • by Mr. America Location: downeast on Mar 6, 2012 at 12:16 PM
    Yo YO i got your back dog,that's right he will be so far back you won't even see him.Let's just let them sanctions that have been in place for 20 years bring that tiny Iran down to their knees.If that don't work we'll let Hilary talk some more tuff talk,that will put them in their place.Oh hey dog let me know like a month before you do something,yeah you know i got your back dog
    • reply
      by BLAHammed on Mar 6, 2012 at 03:27 PM in reply to Mr. America
      Word!!!..."Iran's A Tiny Little Country,They Pose No Threat"!Then goes to another speach and says he has been telling people how bad Iran is all along.Word up though dog,I know what you say'n.I know what it be like!You feel me,yo?
    • reply
      by To Mr. American on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:14 AM in reply to Mr. America
      Thos sanctions have been in place for 20 years, but this is the FIRST president who has enforced them! Just like his administration has deported more illegals than Bush in 8 years! How do you plan to pay for a war? Whose children do you plan to let die? Preaching war is a sure way to lose this election. All the GOP knows is war.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:52 AM in reply to To Mr. American
        What enforcement? What deportations? Obuma wouldn't do these things to his voting base. This person hasn't done anything even remotely like that. Ask obuma how he paid for lybia.
  • by Lavon Location: Goldsboro on Mar 6, 2012 at 11:22 AM
    Well here we go again people. The Republicans are ratchetting up the rhetoric to try and send your sons and daughters overseas to get in a war again to be murdered like Bush did in Iraq. These idiot Republican Candidates just don't get it do they.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 04:38 PM in reply to Lavon
      47.8% of NC strongly disapprove of obuma. Doesn't look good for obuma reelection.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 02:57 AM in reply to Lavon
      you mean the wars obama promised he'd END when elected ? Last I checked we still have troops dying all over the middle east. obama is a FAILURE and a liar !
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:53 AM in reply to
        He ended the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, what other wars does he need to end?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:56 AM in reply to
          Started wars in Syria and lybia. He has caused more deaths in Afghanistan with his stupid apology recently. He's worthless
      • reply
        by To anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:15 AM in reply to
        Did you miss the thousands of troops who came home?
  • by answer please lavon on Mar 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM
    Lavon, I asked you a question earlier a nd you didn't answer so I'll ask again. (Ad no looking to Obama for help). What do you think Israel should do? The USAdoesn't support them like we should so what should they do?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 6, 2012 at 11:41 AM in reply to answer please lavon
      Why are you asking a simple peasant boy a question that only his ruler could answer?
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil Co on Mar 6, 2012 at 12:55 PM in reply to
        Actually, he should look to Obama...the answer is "I don't know". Same response we got when the oil spill happened in the gulf..."I don't know what to do". Same response he gave when gas prices headed up in 08, "I don't know what to do". Lavon, "I don't know what to do". Its all the same. I sent this very important link to Lavon and he ignored it; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSeCJ8gia2Y
        • reply
          by Lavon on Mar 6, 2012 at 03:22 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          Snake Oil do you still believe in Sarah Palin
        • reply
          by To Snake on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:19 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          Missed the settlement Exxon just made, I see. I believe you also were against the "emergency" funds Obama made Exxon pay. Now, you say he did nothing?
        • reply
          by to:to snake on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          What settlement with exxon? Or maybe I should ask why and who is seatttleing with exxon? The gulf problem was with BP.
      • reply
        by ohhhhhh lavonnnnnnn read this on Mar 6, 2012 at 02:20 PM in reply to
        To see if the sheep could have an original thought. 47.8% don't approve of obumas job preformence. (Abc11, elon, n and o poll). Doesn't look good for obuma here in NC.
    • reply
      by Lavon on Mar 6, 2012 at 01:23 PM in reply to answer please lavon
      The answer is simple. Israel should protect themselves. The USA doesn't support them like they should? According to who's opinion?
      • reply
        by Opinion on Mar 6, 2012 at 02:58 PM in reply to Lavon
        The opinion of 300 million Americans! Basically everyone except the liberals.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:52 AM in reply to Opinion
          It sure would be nice if somebody on this site, anybody that's conservative/Republican could actually answer a question intelligently.
        • reply
          by To opinion on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:21 AM in reply to Opinion
          The GOP is the one running a Neo-Nazi for the Senate! You need to look up again how many American are in favor of another war!
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil Co on Mar 6, 2012 at 03:15 PM in reply to Lavon
        You know, I thought about your post for a minute then thought your average squirrel monkey lives about 30 meters off the ground in virgin and secondary forests and in cultivated areas, usually along rivers and streams. This allows them access to their favorite foods. A spider monkey's diet includes insects, spiders, bird eggs, young birds, fruit and nuts. About 90% of their diet is composed of soft, tropical fruits. Squirrel Monkeys can move almost silently through the upper canopy. They are usually quiet, but cry when alarmed. Squirrel Monkeys spend most of their lives in the trees, and are considered Arboreal, although they'll occasionally descend to the ground.
        • reply
          by And... on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
          I agree snake man we should end the other George duBya war and send some of the savings to helping out the GOP monkeys.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 07:48 AM in reply to Lavon
        O you think we support them enough?
    • reply
      by To answer on Mar 7, 2012 at 09:18 AM in reply to answer please lavon
      Your "question" contains the assumption that Obama does not support Israel. So, you disagree with Israel's president? and prime minister? Again, statements that are completely false and not based on facts. Yet, you call that a question. While you support a man screaming war with 5 sons behind him-NONE of which have given one minute to our military!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2012 at 10:58 AM in reply to To answer
        Who am I supposed supporting? I don,t support anyone yet, please clarify.
  • by 40some on Mar 6, 2012 at 09:59 AM
    A bilingual Pakistani national will simply carry a nuke across the southern border on his back disguised as a bale of marijuana.
  • by iran could win on Mar 6, 2012 at 09:36 AM
    Iran might be smarter then we think. You people do realize all they would need to do to paralysis the USA is airburst a nuke over us. The EMP would kill every unharden electronic circuit and poof back to the horse and buggy days for us. Anyone who wanted to could just come right over to us and take over and we wouldn't even know. Obuma couldn't handle it.
  • Page:

275 E. Arlington Blvd. Greenville, NC 27858 252-439-7777
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 141529003 - witn.com/a?a=141529003
Gray Television, Inc.