Washington AFP -- President Barack Obama likened Israeli pressure on him to draw a line in the sand over Iran's nuclear ambitions as noise he tries to ignore, according to remarks aired Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently urged the United States to establish what he called a "red line" regarding Tehran's nuclear program beyond which the United States would be compelled to act.
Iran insists its uranium-enrichment activities are for civilian energy-producing purposes, but the West fears it is for building nuclear weapons.
Israel is seen as pushing a much more hardline approach that would include military action, while Washington instead prefers to let diplomacy and sanctions dissuade Iran from building the bomb.
Obama, interviewed for Sunday's edition of "60 Minutes" on broadcaster CBS, said he understands and agrees with Netanyahu's insistence that Iran not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons as this would threaten both countries, the world in general, and kick off an arms race.
But Obama added: "When it comes to our national security decisions -- any pressure that I feel is simply to do what's right for the American people. And I am going to block out -- any noise that's out there."
Tensions have been running high between the United States and Israeli leader, and they will not hold a face-to-face meeting this week at the UN General Assembly in New York. The White House has cited scheduling problems.
Obama's contender for the presidency, Republican Mitt Romney, said this was no way to treat an ally.
The decision not to meet with Netanyahu, he said, also in an interview with "60 minutes", "is a mistake and sends a message throughout the Middle East that somehow we distance ourselves from our friends and I think the exact opposite approach is what's necessary."
Blog author's comments - "President Barack Obama likened Israeli pressure on him to draw a line in the sand over Iran's nuclear ambitions as noise he tries to ignore." I assume that Obama is basing his estimates on when Iran will have its first nuclear weapon off of reports from the same intelligence agencies that thought the security arrangements in Cairo and Benghazi were okay.
"Washington instead prefers to let diplomacy and sanctions dissuade Iran from building the bomb." If this is their tactic why aren't they using tougher sanctions against Iran? I don't believe he wants any change at all in the status quo with Iran because of the coming election. He wants things to remain the same and is more than willing to ignore everything that tells him otherwise and relegate it to the "noise" category.
Also, Barack Obama pushed to oust the dictators in both Libya and Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood is on the rise, how has that helped the U.S. and Israel?