The Washington Post
President Barack Obama will play host to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Nov. 9, their first meeting since Obama announced a nuclear accord with Iran over Netanyahu’s fierce opposition.
The two leaders are expected to discuss the terms of that deal, which deepened a rift between them on security matters. The White House called the visit “a demonstration of the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel as well as the unprecedented security cooperation, including our close consultations to further enhance Israel’s security.”
Netanyahu angered the president and his aides in March when he delivered an address to Congress and denounced the U.S.-led deal with Iran over its nuclear program as a danger to Israel and regional security.
Last week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest played down the rift, emphasizing the “unshakable” bond between the two nations over security issues in the Middle East.
“I can’t think of another situation in the 6 1/2 years of this presidency where there’s been an ally of the United States with which we’ve had such a vigorous public disagreement,” Earnest said. “But the fact that the leaders of these two countries can come together and have a conversation and have an in-person meeting reflect the commitment from the leaders of both countries to the strength of this relationship.”
Netanyahu told lawmakers in March that the accord “will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.” His overt lobbying on U.S. soil angered the White House, which did not invite him to meet with the president during that visit.
Last week, Senate Democrats filibustered a resolution aimed at overturning the Iran deal.