Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Obama that Israel would decide for itself whether to strike Iran.
"My supreme responsibility as prime minister of Israel is to ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate," Netanyahu told Obama.
In a sit-down earlier today with the president in the Oval Office, Netanyahu pushed back against the administration’s repeated attempts to dissuade Israel from attacking Iran. "Israel must reserve the right to defend itself and after all, that's the very purpose of the Jewish state to, restore to the Jewish people control of our destiny," said Netanyahu, who is meeting with the president in advance of his speech later today before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference.
Israel reserves the right to strike Iran if need be, Netanyahu said.
Obama, in a speech to AIPAC on Sunday morning, chastised those engaged in "loose talk of war" with Iran and urged for a policy of diplomacy towards Iran, which continues to enrich uranium and is suspected of clandestinely building a nuclear weapon.
The administration has also been pressuring Israel to hold off on an attack against Iran’s nuclear sites, arguing that economic sanctions require time to take hold.
AIPAC Executive Howard Kohr flatly rejected this assumption earlier today, when he told conference delegates that the U.S. "must increase the pressures on the mullahs to the point where they fear failure to comply will lead to their downfall."
In advance of today's meeting with Netanyahu, Obama has faced renewed criticism from pro-Israel groups over his handling of the U.S.-Israel relationship, including the release of Daylight a documentary produced by the Emergency Committee for Israel highlighting his administration's strained ties with the closest U.S. ally in the Middle East.