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Washington (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Thursday told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a framework nuclear deal between Iran and world powers represented "significant progress."
Netanyahu had bitterly opposed an agreement between the world powers and Iran. Israeli officials branded it a "historic mistake" and "dangerous."
The White House said Obama spoke to Netanyahu from aboard Air Force One to discuss the framework agreement that would see Iran scale back its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
"The president emphasized that, while nothing is agreed until everything is, the framework represents significant progress towards a lasting, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran's pathways to a bomb," the White House said.
Obama sought to reassure Netanyahu of US support for Israel's security despite their very public disagreement over the deal.
"There is no daylight when it comes to our support for Israel's security and our concerns about Iran's destabilizing policies and threats towards Israel," the US president said.
But the spat showed no sign of easing, despite Obama's more conciliatory tone.
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev tweeted that Netanyahu told Obama: "A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel."