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Obama would talk up Israel with Iran

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said he would emphasize the U.S.-Israel friendship in his first meeting as president with an Iranian leader.

“If I sit down with a leader of Iran, I will send them a strong message that Israel is our friend and that we will assist in their security and that we don’t find nuclear weapons acceptable,” Obama said in a conference call Thursday.

Obama was addressing the fallout over differences that arose between him and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in a debate Monday among candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Obama told a questioner he would meet with leaders of nations such as Iran and Syria without preconditions within his first year as president. Clinton said she would not because preparations at a lower level were necessary before such meetings.

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