President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu spoke by phone today, a day after Iran accused the allies of plotting the killing of one of its nuclear scientists.
The White House said in a statement that the two leaders “discussed recent Iran-related developments, including the international community’s efforts to hold Iran accountable for its failures to meet its international obligations.”
“The president reiterated his unshakable commitment to Israel’s security, and the president and the prime minister promised to stay in touch in the coming weeks on these and other issues of mutual concern.”
Obama and Netanyahu also discussed recent talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman, Jordan and the US leader reiterated his “commitment to the goal of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.”
The president will make a new foray into the stalled diplomatic effort to create a Palestinian state next week when he meets Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the White House.
The United States denied Iranian claims that it had a role in killing the scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, in a car bomb attack, and on Wednesday condemned it as an act of violence.
A senior Israeli official said he did not know who carried out the act but added that Israel did not mourn Ahmadi Roshan’s loss.
Ahmadi Roshan was a deputy director at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, according to the website of the university he graduated from a decade ago, Sharif University.
The attack fueled speculation about possible efforts by Israel or its allies to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program, at the same time as Washington and tightens sanctions designed to deter Tehran’s atomic plans.
Iran’s UN ambassador Mohammad Khazaee called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the 15-nation Security Council and UN General Assembly president Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser to condemn the killings “in the strongest terms”.
“There is firm evidence that certain foreign quarters are behind such assassinations,” Khazaee said.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday denied any US involvement.
“I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran,” she said.
Amid the furor, the Pentagon said the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group had arrived in the Gulf region in a “routine” operation.
Tensions have been boiling in the region after Iran threatened to close the crucial oil transportation route through the Strait of Hormuz, and Washington said it would not allow that to happen.