President Obama urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to allow time for the “most crippling sanctions” to take hold in Tehran before mounting a military strike on Iran. But Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Monday night that the Jewish state “cannot afford to wait much longer.”
In a high-stakes meeting at the White House, Obama stressed that there’s “still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution” to the Iranian nuclear threat and that the United States, together with other nations, would continue to “tighten pressure” on the regime through stiffer sanctions in the coming months.
Even before their two-hour meeting and working lunch, there appeared to be some daylight in the approach to Iran between the two leaders, who have a famously cool relationship.
While Obama sought to telegraph his message of diplomacy and sanctions, Netanyahu, who was seated beside the president, made no mention of Obama’s diplomatic approach. Instead, he made it known in very stark terms that Israel “reserves the right” to act unilaterally, a message he returned to in his evening speech to AIPAC.