Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the Obama administration of "giving up" on stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons. He has also expressed his concern that a nuclear Iran wil be a direct threat to Israel, which in the past has made statements of aggression against the only non-Muslim majority country in the Middle East.
His statement has been denied by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has claimed that it is a matter still under close observation. Kerry has reiterated that the US is committed to a nuclear-weapon-free Iran, saying that the Israeli leader has made an error in judgment. Kerry was speaking after the latest rounds of talks about Iran's nuclear program being held in Geneva.
This comes at a time when there is growing rift between the two administrations. Republican Congressional leaders have invited the Israeli head of government to address US Congress next week, a move that has angered many democrats. US National Security Advisor Susan Rice described a visit by Netanyahu as "destructive to the fabric of the relationship" between the two countries. A White House spokesman cautioned against allowing a party political issue to harm US-Israel relations.
The visit has become particularly controversial because Democrats are accusing Republicans of arranging it without their permission. John Boehner, who is speaker of the house, had invited Netanyahu to discuss US-Iran nuclear negotiations, which the Obama administration has received much criticism from many senior republicans. Some Democrats including Vice President Joe Biden are planning on skipping the speech event, in stark contrast to support that US Congressmen generally have for Israel. President Obama does not intend on meeting the Israeli Prime Minister during his short stay in the United States.
Iran's nuclear program has been the source of much controversy for the better part of a decade. It insists the program is for peaceful purposes, but countries led by Israel and until recently the United States unequivocally spoke up against allowing Iran to pursue a nuclear program.
World powers including the US are negotiating with Iran on this issue and they want to sign a deal by within the next month that will prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.