At the White House Wednesday for bilateral talks with President Obama, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather publicly reminded the president of how seriously Israel takes the threat of a nuclear Iran. President Obama spoke first at a joint press appearance, and said that he and the prime minister would "have an opportunity to discuss the progress that’s being made with respect to dealing with Iran’s nuclear program." When it was Netanyahu's turn to speak, he implied that the fate of the current sanctions and thus Iran's nuclear military aspirations rested on the president's shoulders [emphasis added]:
I also want to thank you for this opportunity to meet with you and to discuss the enormous challenges facing the United States and Israel in the Middle East. There’s definitely a new Middle East. I think it poses new dangers, but it also presents new opportunities.
As for the dangers, Israel fully supports your effort and your leadership to defeat ISIS. We think everybody should support this. And even more critical is our shared goal of preventing Iran from becoming a military nuclear power.
As you know, Mr. President, Iran seeks a deal that would lift the tough sanctions that you’ve worked so hard to put in place, and leave it as a threshold nuclear power. I fervently hope that under your leadership that would not happen.
At the United Nations on Monday, Netanyahu warned that Iran and its nuclear ambitions pose a much greater threat to the world than the Islamic State (ISIS), whom he referred to as "militant Islamists on pickup trucks."