'Media exaggerating US-Israel differences on Iran'

US envoy Shapiro says 'Yediot' report of spat between himself, Netanyahu is "silly story," adds US prepared to act on Iran.

September 2, 2012 21:11
1 minute read.
US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro

US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Netanya Academic College)

US ambassador Dan Shapiro on Sunday denied that there was any crisis between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama over the Iranian issue, in an interview with Channel 2.

"There is definitely a narrative in the media right now – I'd say an overheated one – about tension between the US and Israel over Iran," Shapiro said, adding that this narrative does not "reflect the very close coordination and very intense work we've done together to address an issue that we perceive the same way, which is the importance of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

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Asked why the US did not give the Iranians a clear ultimatum – stop the nuclear program "or else" – Shapiro replied: "I think there is no mistaking what the US is prepared to do." Shapiro said that Obama and Netanyahu, as well as their "teams," speak regularly, and that the relationship "at the top" is "just what it needs to be."

The US envoy denied a Yediot Ahronot report Friday of a heated exchange with Netanyahu over the Iranian issue where "sparks flew" during a recent meeting with visiting US Congressman Mike Rogers.

"That is a very silly story," Shapiro said. "The published account of that meeting did not reflect what actually occurred at the meeting. The conversations were entirely friendly and professional, they always are. I always speak respectfully with the prime minister, just as the prime minister always speaks respectfully with me."

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