(Page 3 of 3)
In addition, the White House never tires of touting the killing of Osama bin Laden and the ending of the Iraq war as Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments.
Nevertheless, the unsettled climate surrounding Obama’s U.N. visit will be a stark reminder that the heady optimism that greeted him when he took office, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize within months, has now cooled.
Obama’s early overtures to Iran were rejected, and the expansion of Tehran’s nuclear program, which it says is purely peaceful, has created tension between Washington and Israel, which sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its existence.
Netanyahu has indicated impatience over Obama’s entreaties to hold off on attacking Iran’s nuclear sites to give sanctions and diplomacy more time to work.
Underscoring the depth of the problem, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in New York on Monday that Israel had no roots in the Middle East and would be “eliminated.”
The White House dismissed his comments as “disgusting.”
Despite that, the unusually public dispute between the United States and Israel has been exacerbated by Obama’s decision not to meet with Netanyahu on his U.S. visit later this week, a move that risks alienating some pro-Israel voters.
Signaling resentment at Netanyahu’s tactics, Obama told CBS’s “60 Minutes” he would ignore “noise that’s out there.”