Axelrod: Israel, Obama on the same page

March 4, 2012 at 1:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 4 (UPI) -- A top political aide to President Obama Sunday tried to head off the tensions between Israel and Iran as a campaign issue in the November election.

David Axelrod downplayed the differences of opinion between Israel and the United States over the possibility of military action against Tehran's nuclear program.

"There's no difference between the United States and Israel on the issue of whether Iran should get a nuclear weapon," Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week." "The president made that very clear … and he has backed that up by bringing the entire world together over the last few years with the most withering economic sanctions that have ever been administered against any country."

Axelrod said Israel's political leadership was in agreement with Washington's current approach, and trying to characterize Obama as weak on defense and Israel's security flew in the face of favorable opinion polls in the United States.

Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meet in Washington this week to discuss Iran and other issues. But Axelrod said the differences of opinion between the two leaders were not significant.

"They're going to sit down and they are going to talk through the tactics involved, but no one should doubt the president's resolve," said Axelrod. "Not just because of the security of Israel, but because of the security of the United States of America, it is important that Iran not get a nuclear weapon."

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