POSTED: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 10:14am
(CNN) — For the first time as president, Barack Obama is visiting Israel today as concerns about Iran's nuclear progress percolate.
The trip is part of his sweep across the Middle East, which will include visits to the West Bank and Jordan. Obama's first stop today will be a visit to an Iron Dome missile defense launcher in Tel Aviv.
Designed by Israel and funded by the United States, the battery was deployed at the height of November's fighting between Israel and Hamas. It intercepted a rocket headed for Tel Aviv, Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren said.
Afterward, Obama will head to Jerusalem to meet Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where Iran is expected to be a hot topic.