White House will "have some conversations" with Israel over sanctions politics

January 21, 2015 22:40


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WASHINGTON -- The White House acknowledged on Wednesday that Republicans seek Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's help in pressuring for new sanctions legislation against Iran over its nuclear program, at a fragile time in the negotiations.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday morning, informing the White House of the ask just before announcing it to the press. The White House says it has yet to hear from the prime minister's office on the visit.

"We’ll have some conversations with the Israeli government," White House Josh Earnest said aboard Air Force One, en route to Boise, Idaho. "We’ll allow the Israeli government the opportunity to preview what the prime minister intends to say." Netanyahu says he supports international diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program, and seeks a peaceful end to the decade-old crisis. He believes more pressure is necessary to secure a "good deal." US President Barack Obama, however, has threatened to veto any new sanctions bill passed during the talks, warning that new legislation would derail negotiations and "heighten" the risks of war.

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