Obama to Netanyahu: U.S. has Israel's back

03/05/12 wire reports including AP
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Despite their sometimes public disagreements, leaders of the U.S. and Israel are showing some unity today on the issue of Iran's nuclear program.

As he started several hours of meetings at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama said the U.S. and Israel agree that diplomacy and sanctions are the best ways to resolve the crisis with Iran.

But Obama added that the U.S. will consider all options in confronting the future possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu said Israel and America "stand together." But he said Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to defend itself.

Obama is hoping to get Netanyahu to reduce the pressure among many in his hawkish government to attack Iran's disputed nuclear development sites. He wants to avert an Israeli attack that could come this spring. The United States views such an attack as dangerously premature.

But at the same time, he assured Netanyahu that the United States "will always have Israel's back."

The Los Angeles Times reported last month that the latest U.S. intelligence report indicates the U.S. does not believe Iran is trying tobuild a nuclear bomb.

Today the group Occupy AIPAC protested again against war on Iran.

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