President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to try and reassure him about negotiations on Iran.
A proposal under discussion in Geneva would unblock billions of dollars in Iranian assets overseas in exchange for Iran freezing the most advanced aspects of its nuclear program as negotiations continue toward a comprehensive deal.
Netanyahu on Friday slammed Obama's offer to roll back sanctions as a “very, very bad deal.”
Obama called Netanyahu later in the day to discuss the Iran negotiations.
“The President provided the Prime Minister with an update on negotiations in Geneva and underscored his strong commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” the White House said in a readout of the call. “The President and Prime Minister agreed to continue to stay in touch on this issue.”
The White House is concerned that Netanyahu's strong public criticism of the proposal could make it impossible for the administration to loosen sanctions and strike a long-term deal.
Lawmakers have been clamoring for new sanctions and at least one senator, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), has threatened to restrict Obama's ability to lift sanctions.
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