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U.S. official: Obama did not agree to Netanyahu’s red lines

JTA

September 14, 2012 | 9:45 am

President Barack Obama in Golden, Colo., on Sept. 13. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama in Golden, Colo., on Sept. 13. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In their recent phone call U.S. President Barack Obama did not agree to automatic triggers for military action against Iran proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to an unnamed senior administration official quoted by The New York Times.

The senior official said that Obama refused efforts to tie military action to any specific Iranian action, such as reaching a defined threshold on nuclear material or failing to meet a deadline on negotiations.

“We need some ability for the president to have decision-making room,” the official was quoted as saying. “We have a red line, which is a nuclear weapon. We’re committed to that red line.”

Netanyahu has described the post-midnight Wednesday phone call as a "good conversation." Earlier in the week, Netanyahu decried a lack of clarity from the "international community" -- seen in Israel as code for the Obama administration -- for failing to make clear what would trigger a U.S. strike on Iran as that country reportedly nears obtaining a nuclear weapon.

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