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Netanyahu: Israel must remain the master of its fate

Monday, March 05, 2012 - 01:56

Mar. 5 - President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu face a struggle over Iran ''red lines.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are deeply at odds over how fast the clock is ticking toward possible military action against Iran's nuclear program, and their talks on Monday (March 4) are unlikely to change that. Even though Obama has offered assurances of stiffened U.S. resolve against Iran before the White House meeting, the two allies are still far apart on explicit nuclear "red lines" that Tehran must not be allowed to cross, and they have yet to agree on a time frame for when military action may be necessary. Obama wants Israel to hold off on attacking Iran's nuclear sites, insisting there is still time for sanctions and diplomacy to work. But he also vowed in a speech on Sunday to the largest U.S. pro-Israel lobby that he would be ready to act militarily - with all "elements of American power" - to prevent the Islamic republic from building an atomic bomb. Israeli leaders, who see Iran's nuclear advances as a looming existential threat and reserve the right to act alone in self-defense, have made clear they are operating on a far shorter, more urgent timeline. Their most immediate concern is that Iran be prevented from reaching nuclear weapons capability, not just from developing an actual device, and they worry that time is running out for an effective Israeli attack as Tehran buries its nuclear facilities deeper underground. While Obama and Netanyahu - who have had a strained relationship - will share intelligence information on Monday, a source close to the administration said there was little reason to believe they would make significant progress toward bridging key differences on a common threshold for military action.

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Netanyahu: Israel must remain the master of its fate

Monday, March 05, 2012 - 01:56