Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the United States Sunday morning EST, for a visit that will include a meeting with U.S. President Obama, and an address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Upon boarding his flight out of Israel Netanyahu promised that he would seek to expose the truth about the danger posed by Iran in response to the Islamic Republic’s recent gestures to the West.
“I will represent the citizens of Israel, our national interests, our rights as a people, our determination to defend ourselves and our hope for peace,” Netanyahu 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 truth. 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 Israel.”
Israel has long led calls for the international community to combat Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and is worried about the recent warming of ties between Iran and the West following the election of the new silk tongued Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.
A speech delivered last week by Rouhani at the United Nations was conciliatory in tone, and President Obama exchanged words with the Iranian President over the phone Friday. But in an interview with The Algemeiner last week Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz said that absent a “declaration” promising change on the ground with Iran’s nuclear program, “then it is just a show, it’s just rhetoric, but no substantial change.”
According to Israeli media reports Netanyahu ordered his cabinet not to comment on the Obama-Rouhani phone call, and made no mention of it himself. But Israel and others in the Middle East view the U.S. – Iran overtures with skepticism according to reports.
The in-person meeting between Obama and the Prime Minister which is scheduled to last for 2 hours and 15 minutes is the first since Obama’s widely covered visit to Israel in March.