Obama to try and talk Netanyahu out of Iran strike after his advisers failed
February 20, 2012
After a high-ranking US delegation headed by White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon failed in three days of tough talks (Feb.18-20) to dissuade Israeli leaders to back off plans for a military strike against Iran’s nuclear sites, the White House invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for talks with President Barak Obama on March 5. He will try and break the stalemate which ended his advisers’ talks with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.
The defense minister, addressing his Independence Party later Monday praised Israel’s security relations with the US as very good and very important for a strong Israel. The dialogue between the two governments, he said, is marked by openness, mutual respect, understanding and attentiveness. At the same time, Barak hinted at discord by adding, “Both are sovereign nations which are ultimately responsible for their decisions in relation to themselves and their future.”
DEBKAfile reported earlier Monday, Feb. 20:
White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon faced an acrimonious Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in two hours of stormy conversation in Jerusalem Sunday, Feb. 19, according to updates reaching senior US sources in Washington. The main bones of contention were Iran’s continuing enrichment of uranium and its ongoing relocation of production to underground sites.
Israeli officials declined to give out any information on the conversation. Some even refused to confirm it took place.