Jeffrey Heller and Matt Spetalnick
March 5, 2012
President Barack Obama, aiming to head off any premature Israeli strike on Iran, sought to assure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that the United States would always “have Israel’s back” but said there was still time for diplomacy.
Netanyahu, in a show of unity with an American leader with whom he has had a rocky relationship, said at the White House that both Israel and the United States stood together on the need to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“The bond between our two countries is unbreakable,” Obama said. “The United States will always have Israel’s back when it comes to Israel’s security.”
The two men, sitting side by side and smiling at each other in the Oval Office, sought to present a united front in the Iranian nuclear standoff after weeks of mounting concern that Israel would preemptively strike Iran on its own.