Netanyahu to Meet With Obama on Iran, Palestinians

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has condemned the big power deal with Iran on its nuclear activity, said he would meet President Obama in Washington next month to further the goal of denying Tehran an atomic bomb capability.

Netanyahu has described as a “historic mistake” the interim agreement that world powers reached with Iran in November on curbing some aspects of its nuclear program in return for a limited easing of sanctions imposed on Tehran.

Netanyahu said the main aim of his Washington visit, which will include a policy speech to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, would be to further the goal of preventing Iran from being about to “break out” a nuclear bomb.

“Iran continues to object to any dismantling of its [uranium]enrichment capability — not even a single centrifuge,” Netanyahu said in public remarks to legislators from his Likud party.

Netanyahu cited the faltering U.S.-sponsored peace process with the Palestinians as the “second issue” on his Washington agenda.

In his remarks to Likud lawmakers, he repeated his main demands: Palestinian recognition of Israel as the “nation state” of the Jewish people, a declared end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and tight security arrangements in any final peace deal.

Netanyahu said he would hold talks with Obama in Washington and address AIPAC’s March 2-4 annual policy conference in the U.S. capital before heading on to California’s Silicon Valley to meet high-tech executives.

He gave no specific dates, but Israeli officials said they expected Netanyahu and Obama to meet on March 3 and for the Israeli leader to address AIPAC the next day.

The two men last met in September, at the White House.