President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reiterated his opposition to Iran possessing a nuclear weapon, but he did not accede to Netanyahu’s request for a red line statement.
“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 White House Press Office stated in a readout of Obama’s call. “The two leaders underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
In short, Obama’s position did not change despite Netanyahu’s high-profile appeal at the United Nations yesterday. “[A] a red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium,” Netanyahu said, per The Washington Post. “The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target. I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.”
Here’s the full readout of Obama’s conversation with Netanyahu:
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.