Obama understands why Israel considers Iran an existential threat

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Jerusalem, May 18 (ANI): Ahead of his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, US President Barack Obama has said he understands why Israel considers Iran an existential threat.

"I understand very clearly that Israel considers Iran an existential threat, and given some of the statements that have been made by [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, you can understand why," The Jerusalem Post quoted Obama, as saying.

Expressing his concerns that Israel might carry out an air strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, Obama said since Israel is "right there in the range" of Iranian missiles, "their calculation of costs and benefits are going to be more acute."

In his interview with The Newsweek, he also spoke about his upcoming meeting with Netanyahu.

"The approach we are taking is one that has to be given a chance and offers the prospect of security, not just for the United States but also for Israel, that is superior to some of the other alternatives," he said.

While he reiterated that his administration was going to reach out to Teheran on the nuclear issue, Obama stressed that he was not naove and that other options were also being considered.

"I've been very clear that I don't take any options off the table with respect to Iran. I don't take options off the table when it comes to US security, period," Obama said.

"I assure you, I'm not naive about the difficulties of a process like this. If it doesn't work, the fact that we have tried will strengthen our position in mobilizing the international community, and Iran will have isolated itself," he added. (ANI)

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