POLITICS: PennAve

Obama offers 'absolute commitment' to prevent nuclear-armed Iran

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Iran,Israel,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali,Benjamin Netanyahu,Nuclear Weapons,Foreign Policy

President Obama on Monday assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his “absolute commitment” to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.

“My absolute commitment is that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon,” Obama told reporters ahead of his meeting with the Israeli leader at the White House.

Netanyahu is meeting with Obama as the administration makes a push to finalize the framework for a new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. But that task is complicated by longstanding divisions between Obama and Netanyahu on a number of other issues, in particular over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Netanyahu has been a public skeptic of Obama’s talks with Tehran on its nuclear program.

In January, the administration and other world powers finalized an interim deal with Iran that would see it freeze some aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The deal also launches a 6-month timetable for the two sides to reach a permanent accord.

Israel and a number of other key U.S. allies, along with lawmakers from both parties, though, have criticized the deal, saying it undermines the international sanctions regime and does little to prevent Iran from continuing weapons development.

Netanyahu earlier had criticized those terms, saying that Iran had received the “deal of the century.”

On Monday, Netanyahu said that “no country will be happier than ours if we reach a peaceful solution" over Iran.

President Obama has insisted that all options remain on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

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