White House Denies Deal for Weapons to Israel
(WASHINGTON) -- The White House pushed back against a report in an Israeli newspaper Thursday that President Obama agreed to a request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for advanced military weaponry that could be used to knock out Iran's nuclear facilities.
Earlier in the week, the two leaders talked extensively about the possibility of Israel launching a preemptive strike against Iran, a scenario the administration does not support at this time.
However, the Maariv newspaper quoted an Israeli official as saying that Netanyahu put in a request for powerful "bunker-buster" bombs that presumably would be used to wipe out Iranian nuclear facilities hidden in underground sites.
The prime minister also reportedly asked the president for refueling planes that would make it easier to strike these particular targets.
Haaretz, a website that presents analyses of Israel and the Middle East, added that Obama supposedly instructed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to coordinate the transfer of this military technology to Israel.
With all this speculation floating around, White House spokesman Jay Carney stated during Thursday's press briefing, "In meetings the president had there was no such agreement proposed or reached."
Carney went on to note, "There is agreement between this administration, this government and the Israeli government on what Iran is doing and where it is in the process of its nuclear program. And there is great coordination between this government and the Israeli government, between our militaries and between our intelligence officials, and that will continue."
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