Lapid: Trump should not meet with Rouhani

"The only method that can prevent Iran's nuclearization is strong sanctions, and too many people will assume that such a meeting would result in lifting sanctions," Yair Lapid said.

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September 11, 2019 01:24
1 minute read.
YAIR LAPID: Our vision for Israeli society is based on a far less eye-catching idea – life isn’t a z

YAIR LAPID: Our vision for Israeli society is based on a far less eye-catching idea – life isn’t a zero-sum game. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Blue and White co-candidate for prime minister Yair Lapid called upon US President Donald Trump not to go through with his possible meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later this month in New York.

Speaking in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that will be published on Friday, Lapid differentiated himself from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he would not object to such a meeting.

“The only method that can prevent Iran’s nuclearization is strong sanctions, and too many people will assume that such a meeting would result in lifting sanctions,” Lapid said.

Netanyahu told reporters who accompanied him to London on Thursday: “Right now, the time is to apply pressure. Does that mean that after a month or two months of pressure, you can’t do it? I don’t rule it out, and I certainly don’t decide for the president of the United States when to meet and whom to meet with.”

But Lapid said the fact that Trump reiterated his interest in meeting Rouhani hours after Netanyahu revealed new information on Iran’s nuclear program was proof that Netanyahu was not as close to Trump as he has tried to make the public believe. He said that when Trump’s Middle East peace plan is revealed, the US president’s differences with Netanyahu would be even clearer.

“Bibi has been trying to sell us the theory that he knows how to get anything from Trump,” Lapid said. “We don’t know much but we know some parts of his plan. Because of their relationship, if the plan was good for Netanyahu, it would have been leaked, so it must not be good for Netanyahu. The legend Netanyahu worked so hard to craft about the special relationship he has with Trump seem to be debunked in front of our very eyes.”

Lapid is expected to be Blue and White’s candidate for foreign minister if the party forms the next government. Lapid said that as foreign minister, his goals would be “restoring the bipartisan status of Israel in the US, restoring relations with the majority of Jews in the US, with Europe and with international organizations. There is a lot that has to be restored.”


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