President Barack Obama has scheduled a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres for early March, in which the main topic of conversation will surely be Iran.
Israeli news outlets are reporting that Peres, whose position is largely ceremonial, will tell Obama that a military strike on Iran should not happen.
Some see the meeting as practice for Obama's upcoming parley with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House next month. The two leaders were on uncertain terms after an awkward meeting last year, but the Iran situation has them galvanized around one salient talking point.
The United States, as well as the European Union, imposed new sanctions on Iran after a report from the International Atomic Energy Administration last November strongly suggested Iran was building nuclear weapons. So far, Iran has shrugged off the sanctions, increasing speculation that a military strike on Iran is the forthcoming and necessary measure needed to destroy Iran's nuclear program before it becomes dangerous.
Iran, for its part, has almost egged on Israel and the United States -- running new missile tests in the Persian Gulf, claiming it can hit U.S. targets around the globe and threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz.
Peres is notably less in favor of a strike than Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who has been chomping at the Iranian bit for months. The president has blasted calls for military action as unnecessary warmongering, and would rather leave the diplomatic decisions to the United States.
Peres is also said to have Netanyahu's ear on the Iran issue and is staving off Barak. Additionally, it is believed that it would be unwise of Israel to strike without the okay from the United States, so both Obama and Peres, and later Netanyahu, need to make their intentions very clear to each other.
However, on Wednesday, Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel will do whatever it wants, and doesn't need to wait for a pat on the head from either the United States or Russia.