Obama reassures Israelis about Iran, nuclear weapons

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March 20, 2013, 5:30 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Steve Handelsman) - In Jerusalem Wednesday the mood was sunny and the talk was tough.

President Obama, in his first official trip to Israel, vowed that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon.

That brought a smile to the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Obama reassured Israelis, terrified of Iran getting nuclear weapons, that if diplomacy fails using force is possible.

"All option are on the table," President Obama said. "We will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from getting the world's worst weapons."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded pleased.

"I'm absolutely convinced that the president is determined to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said.

The president received a warm welcome, with Netanyahu under pressure to end their public sparring.

Mr. Obama made a warm gesture, planting a tree from the White House.

Palestinians protested the Obama visit in the West Bank.

Security was heavy, but Netanyahu joked he'd help Mr. Obama slip away.

"Well we've picked up a few cafes and bars in Tel Aviv and we've even prepared a fake mustache for you," Netanyahu joked.

They toured a battery of Iron Dome missiles that the U.S. helped develop and Israelis credit with saving lives last November, shooting down Hamas missiles.

On Thursday the focus will shift to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and President Obama visits the West Bank.

Tags: barack Obama, United States, Iran, Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Steve Handelsman, Iran nuclear weapon
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