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Obama meets with Jewish leaders at White House ahead of Israel trip

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CNN reported Friday that the president plans to issue a "clear and direct" challenge to Iran during his visit, although is not expected to unveil his own Middle East peace plan. Obama reiterated to the group that he would not exclude any options, including the use of military force, in working to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Obama spoke with the group for over an hour Thursday at the White House. Other attendees included representatives of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and J Street.

Earlier this week, Vice President Biden told attendees at AIPAC's annual conference that Obama was "not bluffing" when saying military force could be deployed.

"The president of the United States cannot, and does not, bluff. President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE is not bluffing," Biden said.

In addition to Israel, Obama will visit the Palestinian territories and Jordan during his swing through the Middle East. Last week, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama "very much looks forward to" his travels.

"The timing is good. He believes as he begins his second term and as there's a new government coming into place in Israel, he very much looks forward to the trip both to Israel and Jordan and to Ramallah, the West Bank," Carney said.