Israel repeatedly has threatened to take military action should Iran appear to be on the verge of obtaining a bomb. The U.S. has pushed for more time to allow diplomacy and economic penalties to run their course, though Obama insists military action is an option.
Obama noted the difficulty of finding a path forward in the broader quest for Mideast peace, acknowledging that in recent years "we haven't gone forward, we haven't seen the kind of progress that we would like to see."
The president said he came to the region principally to listen and hopes to return home with a better understanding of the constraints and "how the U.S. can play a constructive role."
"This is a really hard problem," he said.