WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't meet this week but spoke by telephone on Friday. Their conversation focused on efforts to curb Iran's suspect nuclear program, according to a rather dry White House statement. Obama's press operation also released the above photo of the call.
The two leaders don't have a lot of personal chemistry, and Obama has, to date, resisted publicly setting "red lines"—a euphemism for "past this point we go to war"—on Iran, despite Netanyahu's aggressive campaign for the president to do so. Republicans, led by Mitt Romney, have accused Obama of shortchanging U.S.-Israeli ties.
Here is how the White House described the call:
"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke today as part of their regular consultations, and to follow up on Secretary Clinton's meeting with the Prime Minister. The two leaders discussed a range of security issues, and the President reaffirmed his and our country's unshakeable commitment to Israel's security.
The two leaders underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Prime Minister welcomed President Obama's commitment before the United Nations General Assembly to do what we must to achieve that goal.
The two leaders took note of the close cooperation and coordination between the Governments of the United States and Israel regarding the threat posed by Iran—its nuclear program, proliferation, and support for terrorism—and agreed to continue their regular consultations on this issue going forward." (Agencies)