U.S. President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday from Air Force One, according to a White House press release, following an initial deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear program, to reassure him that the U.S. is committed to Israel's security.

Obama told Netanyahu that he had directed his national security team to "increase consultations with the new Israeli government about how we can further strengthen our long-term security cooperation with Israel and remain vigilant in countering Iran’s threats."

Netanyahu strongly criticized a deal between Iran and the P5+1 countries over the former’s nuclear program, and was reported to have told Obama during the phone call that “This deal threatens the survival of the State of Israel" and "This deal will not block Iran’s path to the bomb; this deal paves the way to it,” the Times of Israel reported.

Netanyahu has indicated that he believes Iran is working to create a nuclear bomb, and many in the world share that belief, according to the New York Times, citing Iranian leaders' calls for Israel's destruction, Iran's support for militant groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles. Israel has called for the eradication of Iran's nuclear program altogether and did not find the nuclear deal's call for the inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities adequate as a safeguard.

Today's nuclear deal caps off months of lobbying on the part of Netanyahu against the deal, including a speech before the United States Congress in March, which was arranged with Republican lawmakers without consultation of the White House.


Obama defended the framework agreement as representative of “significant progresses towards a last, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb,” and reiterated a commitment to Israeli national security.


The deal “in no way diminishes our concern with respect to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and threats towards Israel and emphasized that the United States remains steadfast in our commitment to the security of Israel,” Obama reportedly told Netanyahu.