Iran is expected to dominate the conversation Monday when U.S. President Barack Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the White House.
The two men will try to sort out their differences over what Washington fears could be an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites -- while also managing their strained relationship. With the U.S. presidential election just eight months away, Obama's Republican foes have been quick to paint him as tough on Israel and soft on Iran.
Netanyahu will likely press Obama for more clarity on how effective increasingly tough sanctions and diplomacy efforts have been, as well as the U.S.'s willingness to use force if necessary, officials and analysts following the discussions on both sides told the New York Times in recent days.
Israeli officials have stressed time may be running out for an effective Israeli attack, especially as officials suspect Iran is already burying its uranium enrichment program deeper underground.
If you don't want me to attack now, I want guarantees, an Israeli official quoted Netanyahu telling top Obama aides who visited Jerusalem last month, Reuters reported. If you're saying, 'We'll take care of you,' you're not saying that clearly enough.
Although Obama has pledged to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, he has also been vague on how far he is prepared to go to stop Iran, and is likely to resist pressure for a public policy shift. U.S. officials have cited growing signs U.S.-led international sanctions are starting to pressure Iran, and officials believe Obama will urge Netanyahu to delay any military strike to give those sanctions and diplomacy more time to work, Reuters reported.