WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Monday reassured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Washington's commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb.
Obama made the pledge hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed wishes to accelerate nuclear talks with Iran.
In a White House statement, Obama reiterated that nuclear talks with Iran focus on reaching a deal across the board that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb and obliges Iran to unequivocally guarantee the peaceful nature of its nuclear program to the international community.
"The president underscored the United States' enduring commitment to the security of Israel and the importance of continuing close cooperation with Israel on this issue," said the White House statement.
During his stay in India, Kerry told reporters that his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Geneva later this week is to review the past talks and to instruct their negotiation teams for discussions slated for Thursday through Saturday.
The planned bilateral engagement would be followed by talks on Sunday between Iran and the six world powers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
Negotiators have so far failed to reach a comprehensive deal, under which Tehran would suspend its nuclear program while the West would loosen or lift economic sanctions.
Israel has long been skeptical about the negotiations, arguing that Iran is adamant and that it is merely exploiting the temporary mitigation of US sanctions.