President Obama Meets Benjamin Netanyahu Amid Dispute Over Iran Nuke Deal

The president reassures Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu of U.S. support.

“It's no secret that the prime minister and I have had a strong disagreement on this narrow issue,” Obama conceded during a brief photo opportunity in the Oval Office prior to their first meeting since the deal was announced in July.

“But we don't have a disagreement on the need to making sure Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and we don't have a disagreement about us blunting destabilizing activities in Iran that may be taking place.”

He was slightly muted in the presence of the media and did not directly raise his disapproval of the nuclear agreement.

The president added that preliminary reports indicate “two or three” U.S. citizens were killed and “a number of other individuals” were injured.

“We're with you,” Netanyahu said, adding his condolences. “We're with each other in more ways than one and I want to thank you for this opportunity to strengthen our friendship, which is strong; strengthen our alliance, which is strong.”

Obama said “it's no secret” that the security environment in the Middle East has “deteriorated in many areas,” but he stressed that “the security of Israel is one of my top foreign policy priorities.”

“It is my strong belief that Israel has not just the right, but the obligation to protect itself,” Obama said.

Obama remarked that the two leaders would also discuss the “chaotic situation” in Syria, violence in the Palestinian territories and “how we can get back on a path towards peace.”