By Kevin Liptak, Deirdre Walsh and Jim Acosta, CNN
Wed August 5, 2015
President Barack Obama tried to persuade American Jewish leaders to back his recent nuclear deal with Iran at a Tuesday White House meeting that was at times contentious, according to participants.
“It’s my birthday and I’m going to be blunt,” Obama told the group of 22 Jewish leaders who gathered in the Cabinet Room on his 54th birthday, according to one attendee. The President “meticulously” made his case for loosening sanctions on Tehran in exchange for stricter inspections of potential nuclear sites, the person said.
Obama’s appeal came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vigorously opposes the deal, made his own pitch to American Jews via webcast earlier in the day.
Participating groups included the Anti-Defamation League, Orthodox Union and J Street.