In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday praised President Barack Obama for speaking out against a nuclear-armed Iran earlier this week at the U.N.
“President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear armed Iran cannot be contained. I very much appreciate the president’s position, as does everyone in my country,” Netanyahu said. “We share the goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons programs. This goal united the people of Israel, it unites Americans — Democrats and Republicans alike — and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world.”
Netanyahu said that he is “confident” the U.S. will work with Israel to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together,” he said.
In Obama’s speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly, he said that a nuclear-armed Iran could not be “contained.”
“America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited,” Obama said. “Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained.”
In his speech Thursday, Netanyahu, who has previously pushed Obama to go beyond sanctions against Iran, argued for a “clear red line” regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
“At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs and that’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” Netanyahu said in his speech. “Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war.”
During his trip to New York City earlier this week, Obama was criticized for not meeting privately with Netanyahu, reviving speculation that the two have a rocky relationship.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that Netanyahu will meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later Thursday and will speak with Obama on the phone Friday.
“I expect the president will have a follow-up phone call with the prime minister probably Friday,” Carney said.
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