WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
arrived in Washington overnight ahead of his meeting with US President Barack Obama.
Netanyahu is expected to meet with Obama later on Monday, ahead of his address at the AIPAC conference in Washington.
Jerusalem sources were pleased with Obama's Sunday address at AIPAC, saying that Israel
now expects to reach a "quiet understanding" with the United States.
Netanyahu, the sources said, is likely to ask Obama for a "concrete plan" on Iran
and the US' intention to prevent it from achieving nuclear weapons.
|Obama addresses AIPAC conference (Video: Reuters)|
"Iran’s leaders should know that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," Obama told AIPAC.
"And as I've made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests," he declared.
However, Obama is expected to ask Netanyahu to "take it down a notch" regarding the rhetoric pertaining to a possible strike
on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Obama will push Netanyahu to afford the international sanctions
imposed on the Islamic Republic more time to work, stressing that any military move by Israel will likely sabotage Washington's efforts to impose a global ban on Tehran.
A top Jerusalem source told Ynet that "no Israeli prime minister can promise not to attack Iran's nuclear sites," adding that the premise stems from Washington's inability to promise it will mount a strike of its own "before the window of opportunity is closed."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak
has warned recently that Iran is fast approaching a "zone of immunity," which would make a strike against its nuclear facilities ineffective.
"This is the kind of issue that requires trust between leaders, which isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to Netanyahu and Obama," the source said.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
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