Amid speculation there may be a rift growing between the two nations, the leaders of the U.S. and Israel spoke for an hour over the phone Tuesday evening and affirmed they are united in preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were said by the White House to have agreed that they will continue "close consultations going forward." A White House statement Tuesday evening reported that the leaders "discussed the cooperation on Iran and other security issues, and agreed to continue their close consultations going forward."
The statement denied that Israel had asked for the talk and likewise denied reports that the U.S. President had refused to meet with Netanyahu later this month in New York during Netanyahu's time there with the U.N. General Assembly. "Contrary to reports in the press, there was never a request for Prime Minister Netanyahu to meet with President Obama in Washington, nor was a request for a meeting ever denied."
Of late Netanyahu has criticized the world community and America for failing to set "red lines" for Iran that would inform that country of the consequences were they to develop nuclear capabilities. Netanyahu said Tuesday that if nations were not ready to do so then "they don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel."
While the U.S. has not set definitive 'red lines' with Tehran they have long insisted that they won't permit Iran to develop nuclear weapons. They claim they have good intelligence on the country and insist Iran is not close to developing nuclear capabilities. Their intention to steadfastly refuse such capabilities for Iran was restated Monday by White House press secretary Jay Carney.
The headline for a story on Wednesday in the Jerusalem Post about the Tuesday evening phone talk read: "Obama, Netanyahu reaffirm 'united determination' on Iran."