Mar. 5 - U.S. urges diplomacy, emphasizes sanctions as it seeks to head off an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran. Deborah Gembara reports.
In Washington, President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to present a united front regarding Iran. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama saying: "We all know from Israel's perspective that it is unacceptable from Israel's perspective to have a country with a nuclear weapon that has called for the destruction of Israel but as I said yesterday it is profoundly in the U.S.'s interest to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. We do not want to a nuclear arms race in one of the most volatile regions in the world. We don't want the possibility of a nuclear weapon falling into the hands of terrorists and we do not want a regime that has been a state sponsor of terrorism to feel that it can act even more aggressively or with even more impunity." The United States is hoping to quell mounting concern that Israel could launch a preemptive strike on Iran. At the White House, the emphasis was on shared objectives regarding Iran. SOUNDBITE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying: "Americans know that Israel and the United States share common values, that we defend common interests, that we face common enemies. Iran's leaders know that, too. For them, you're the Great Satan, we're the Little Satan. For them, we are you and you're us. And you know something, Mr. President -- at least on this last point, I think they're right. We are you, and you are us. We're together." While neither Obama nor Netanyahu made specific mention of the different timetables they are operating on, the Israeli leader did tell the president Israel has a right to defend itself. SOUNDBITE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying: "That's why my supreme responsibility as Prime Minister of Israel is to ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate." The United States has assured Israel of its support, even as it urges Israel to allow more times for sanctions to work. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.