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President Obama phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from Air Force One on Thursday to discuss the nuclear deal with Iran, the White House said. 

Obama told Netanyahu “the framework represents significant progress towards a lasting, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward,” according to a statement. 

The president said the nuclear agreement “in no way diminishes our concerns with respect to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and threats towards Israel” and directed his national security team to increase security consultations between the two governments. 

{mosads}During the call, Netanyahu told Obama that “a deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel,” according to Mark Regev, a spokesman for the prime minister. 

“This deal would legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy & increase Iran’s aggression & terror,” Regev tweeted. “Such a deal would not block Iran’s path to the bomb. It would pave it. “

Netanyahu has been one of Obama’s staunchest critics for trying to broker an agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear program. He condemned the framework deal on Thursday for giving up too much to Teheran.

“The concessions offered to Iran in Lausanne would ensure a bad deal that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world,” the Israeli leader tweeted. “Now is the time for the international community to insist on a better deal.”

Speaking from the Rose Garden before leaving Washington, Obama directly addressed the disagreement between himself and Netanyahu.

The president said he shares Israel’s concerns about Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and its threats against the Jewish state but reiterated that he thinks the deal is the best way to prevent Teheran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“If, in fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu is looking for the most effective way to ensure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon, this is the best option,” he said. “And I believe our nuclear experts can confirm that.” 

— Updated at 7:00 p.m.

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