President Obama sought to reassure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call Tuesday following the announcement that world leaders had come to an agreement on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Obama told Netanyahu, who opposes the deal, that the nuclear agreement “will not diminish our concerns regarding Iran’s support for terrorism and threats toward Israel,” according to a description of the call provided by the White House.
Israel and its supporters have repeatedly expressed concern that easing sanctions on Iran in return for Iran’s promises to curtail its nuclear program could endanger Israel, particularly given Iran’s support for groups that have attacked Israel and Iranian leaders’ previous statements against the country. Netanyahu called the deal a mistake of “historic proportions” on Tuesday and promised to continue trying to block final passage.
According to the White House’s description of Obama’s call to Netanyahu, the President “underscored his Administration’s stalwart commitment to Israel’s security and noted that the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] will remove the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran, an outcome in the national security interest of the United States and Israel.”
Obama also told Netanyahu that Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s planned travel to Israel next week is a “reflection of the unprecedented level of security cooperation between the United States and Israel.”