President Obama denied the U.S. gave Israel approval to strike Iran's nuclear facilities -- backing off claims made by the vice president over the weekend that the U.S. wouldn't stand in the way of an Israel-led attack on Iran.
In an interview on CNN broadcast from Russia, Obama refuted remarks made by Joe Biden over the weekend in which he said the U.S. gave Israel the go-ahead to strike a nuclear-armed Iran.
When asked whether the U.S. had given its approval to Israel, Obama answered, "Absolutely not."
"We can't dictate to other countries what their security interests are," Obama said. "What is also true is, it is the policy of the United States to try to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear capabilities."
The best way of achieving "through diplomatic channels," he said.
Biden said Israel could determine on its own how it should handle the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran and that the U.S. was not going to interfere with its decision in a taped interview that aired on ABC's "This Week" that aired on Sunday.
"Israel can determine for itself — it's a sovereign nation — what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," Biden said.