Obama and Romney both phoning Bibi

The president and the Israeli prime minister smoothed over rumored tensions with U.N. speeches

Published September 28, 2012 7:36PM (EDT)

Barack Obama was due to speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone today, according to comments from White House spokesman Jay Carney.

The two leaders this week smoothed over speculated tensions. Obama, in his U.N. address Tuesday, gave a stern warning to Iran -- somewhat bending to Bibi's ongoing demands that the U.S. draw a "red line" with Iran over nuclear development.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, thanked Obama in his U.N. speech Thursday. "I am confident we can chart a path forward together," Bibi said.

Rumors that the White House rejected an Israeli request for Obama to meet with Netanyahu have been denied by both sides, Israel insisting that no such request was made.

Mitt Romney was also due to speak on the phone with Bibi (his old Bain colleague) Friday. The presidential hopeful has in recent weeks tried to play up tensions between the Obama administration and Israel. Following Obama's appearance on "60 Minutes" last week, in which the president said he would not be pressured by Israel into military engagement with Iran, Romney called his comments "the latest evidence of his chronic disregard for the security of our closest ally in the Middle East."

Despite  framing policy over Iran as a wedge issue, both Obama and Romney have used similar rhetoric when it comes to warnings over nuclear arms development.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Barack Oba Benjamin Netanyahu Diplomacy Iran Israel Mitt Romney Nuclear Weapons