Gingrich says Israel can't let Iran go nuclear

By the Associated Press | March 4, 2012 | 8:16 AM EST

FILE - In this May 20, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. In his most explicit warning yet, President Barack Obama declares the United States could take military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. But Obama also says he will try to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a crucial meeting next week to avoid a pre-emptive strike against Iran. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich says he sees no evidence that the Obama administration is taking steps to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Gingrich tells CNN's "State of the Union" that Iran is playing the U.S. leadership for fools.

He says the White House is "trying desperately" to persuade the Israelis not to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. But Gingrich says no leader of Israel could responsibly allow Tehran to have nuclear capability.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

President Barack Obama is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Monday.