Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will go into his meeting with US President
Barack Obama on Monday aiming not only to reveal the “true face” of the Iranian
regime, but also wanting to hear a reaffirmation from Obama of Israel’s right to
One of Israel’s main concerns presently is that Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani’s “charm offensive” has chipped away at Israel’s
legitimacy for military action if Tehran crosses the red line Netanyahu
established at the UN General Assembly last year.
Netanyahu is expected
to urge Obama not to relieve the sanctions regime on Tehran until it stops
uranium enrichment, removes it from the country, closes down the plant at Qom
and abandons a plutonium channel to a nuclear bomb.
Netanyahu arrived in
New York early on Sunday morning, and besides meeting with Canadian Foreign
Minister John Baird and Turkmenistan’s Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, spent
the day in his hotel working with top aides in preparation for the Obama
meeting, and for his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on
Among those prepping the prime minister were outgoing National
Security Council head Yaakov Amidror and his replacement, Yossi Cohen, as well
as outgoing Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren and his replacement, Ron
Netanyahu will be armed in his efforts to show Iran’s malevolent
face by Sunday’s publication of the arrest earlier in the month of an alleged
Iranian agent who, among other targets, was casing the US Embassy in Tel
An official traveling with Netanyahu said the incident showed there
was little compatibility between Iran’s words and its actions, and that the
Islamic Republic continued to promote terrorism around the globe.
the Iranian president sweet-talks the West, the ayatollahs’ Revolutionary Guards
continue in their attempts to hurt Western interests in the Middle East, as is
evidenced by the fact that the Iranian spy that was caught gathered intelligence
on the US Embassy in Israel,” he said.
Just before leaving after midnight
on Saturday, Netanyahu said he was going to “represent the citizens of Israel,
our national interests, our rights as a people, our determination to defend
ourselves and our hope for peace.”
Netanyahu, referring to Rouhani’s
blitz last week in the US, said, “I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet-talk and the onslaught of smiles. One must talk facts and one must tell the
Telling the truth today is vital for the security and peace of the
world and, of course, it is vital for the security of the State of
Following the meeting with Obama, where the Palestinian
diplomatic track is expected to feature prominently, the two leaders are to give
statements to the press.
Netanyahu is then scheduled to meet with Vice
President Joe Biden in the White House, followed by a meeting at the State
Department with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The prime minister is
scheduled on Monday to meet with congressional leaders and to attend a
congressional reception for Oren, before flying back to New York.
Tuesday, he is to address the UN at 12:30 local time, and later in the afternoon
to meet Secretary General Ban Kimoon.
The rest of the day, and much of
Wednesday, before a meeting with US Jewish leaders, he is to give
Originally he was scheduled to fly back to Israel on
Wednesday evening, but now the Prime Minister’s Office is considering adding on
a day for more media opportunities.
In Washington, meanwhile, US National
Security Adviser Susan Rice told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that Israel and its
international partners “have every reason to be skeptical” over Iran’s
“We need to test it, and any agreement must be
fully verifiable and enforceable,” Rice said, adding that relations between the
two nations were far from normalized.
“It’s way too soon to presume
either the prospect of an agreement on the nuclear program, which we hope to be
able to achieve, but we’re quite sober about the potential for that,” she
Rice’s comments echo similarly worded statements from senior
administration officials, who say they have been in close contact with their
Israeli counterparts over developments on the diplomatic front with Rouhani’s
administration. Rice informed her counterparts in Israel of the Obama-Rouhani
phone call on Friday shortly before it took place.