Obama's Israel summit: Did it reduce the risk of war with Iran?

Israel is eager to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities — and Obama seems equally eager to talk the Israeli prime minister out of it

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama: On Monday, Netanyahu told the Israel lobby that when it comes to taking action against Iran, "none of us can afford to wait much
(Image credit: GPO/Getty Images)

At a White House summit Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama urged Israel to refrain from attacking Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program, saying Israel should first give tough new sanctions a chance to weaken the Iranian regime. "There is still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution to this issue," Obama said. Of course, Bibi and Obama don't quite see eye to eye on the issue. Netanyahu told America's powerful Israel lobby later that day that "we waited for diplomacy to work; we've waited for sanctions to work; none of us can afford to wait much longer." Obama has been insisting for days that military action against Iran would be premature. Can he convince Israel?

Yes... at least for the time being: Obama made it clear that military force is a "last option," and that a strike against Iran could have potentially disastrous consequences, say Lesley Clark and Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy Newspapers. Netanyahu disagrees with America's assessment of the Iranian threat, and despite his public bluster, he still "indicated that he is prepared to give some more time to Obama to pursue tighter sanctions and a diplomatic deal." Obama managed to forestall an Israeli strike on Iran — for now.

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