Iran pans Netanyahu speech as Sunni Arabs support

Saudi-backed 'Al Arabiya' ran an extremely pro-Israel article by the Editor-in-Chief of its English website on Tuesday titled, “President Obama, listen to Netanyahu on Iran.”

March 4, 2015 00:02
2 minute read.

Nuclear-themed domino show in Iran culminates with missile destroying Israeli flag... (photo credit: MEMRI)


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Reactions to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress on Tuesday so far have fallen along sectarian lines, with Iran negative and Sunni Arabs uncharacteristically positive.

Iranian media were quick to broadcast negative reactions to the speech by US and European politicians.

Iran’s Press TV ran a number of headlines, such as “Pelosi slams Netanyahu ‘insult’ to US,” “I didn’t watch Netanyahu speech: Obama,” and another from EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who said “spreading fears” about Iran’s nuclear program was “not helpful.”

Speaking just before Netanyahu’s address, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Switzerland for talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry, said the prime minister was “trying to create tension” in the negotiations, which face an endof- March deadline to reach a framework accord.

On the other hand, the Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya news channel ran an extremely pro-Israel article on Tuesday before the speech by Faisal J. Abbas, the editor-in-chief of its English website, titled, “President Obama, listen to Netanyahu on Iran.”

“It is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does,” Abbas began, adding, “However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran.”

“What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the supreme leader of the world’s biggest terrorist regime: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (although the latter never seems to write back!).”

In a separate article on Monday in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah that was reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), columnist Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj supported Netanyahu’s decision to speak before Congress against a nuclear deal with Iran.

“I will conclude by saying the following: Obama is the godfather of the prefabricated revolutions in the Arab world, and he is the ally of political Islam, [which is] the caring mother of [all] the terrorist organizations, and he is working to sign an agreement with Iran that will come at the expense of the US’s longtime allies in the Gulf,” said the Saudi writer.

“I am very glad of Netanyahu’s firm stance and [his decision] to speak against the nuclear agreement at the American Congress despite the Obama administration’s anger and fury,” said Faraj.

“I believe that Netanyahu’s conduct will serve our interests, the people of the Gulf, much more than the foolish behavior of one of the worst American presidents. Do you agree with me?”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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