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US, Israel play down differences over Iran

As the presidential election approaches, the US and Israel are playing down any differences regarding Iran’s nuclear capabilities, although defining any 'red line' remains elusive. In the Strait of Hormuz, the US is leading a major naval exercise aimed at Iran.

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President Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in New York in September 2011. The White House denies that Mr. Obama refused a request from Mr. Netanyahu to meet at the UN this week, citing conflicts in the leaders' schedules.

Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS

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As the presidential election approaches, senior US and Israeli officials are playing down any differences between the countries regarding Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Susan Rice, American ambassador to the United Nations, says there’s “no daylight” between the two countries, emphasizing that the Obama administration "will do what it takes" to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he won’t be drawn into the US election. “I will say that we value, we cherish, the bipartisan support for Israel in the United States, and we're supported by Democrats and Republicans alike,” he says.

Ambassador Rice and Mr. Netanyahu were speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday at a time when relations between Netanyahu and President Obama have been strained over Israel’s call for a “red line” regarding Iran, beyond which military action directed at Iran’s nuclear facilities would become inevitable.

Although Netanyahu professes neutrality when it comes to US domestic politics, it is well known that he has a close and warm relationship with GOP challenger Mitt Romney. They met as corporate advisers together in Boston in the 1970s, and they have been friends ever since.

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