Obama and Netanyahu to discuss Iran at White House encounter

30 September 2013
Netanyahu, Obama at a previous meeting
Netanyahu, Obama at a previous meeting
Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with US President Barack Obama on Monday in Washington and is expected to warn that Iran's diplomatic overtures to the West should not be trusted. Obama is expected to attempt to reassure the Israeli prime minister that he will not act prematurely to ease sanctions on Iran, despite recent signs of a thaw in US-Iranian relations. Both leaders will meet at the White House three days after Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone - the highest-level contact between the countries in more than three decades - fueling hopes for a resolution of a decade-old Iranian nuclear standoff.

"Netanyahu does not care that he is the only one ruining the party," an Israeli official was quoted by the 'Reuters' news agency as saying. Obama is expected to voice sympathy for Israel's skepticism about Iran but will make clear his determination to test Rouhani's intentions and will press Netanyahu for time to do so, US officials said.
For his part, Netanyahu will tell Obama that tough economic sanctions have succeeded in forcing Iran back to the negotiating table and "they should not be eased, quite the contrary, they should be tightened," a second Israeli official said.
Netanyahu will urge Obama to reject any deal that calls for concessions by the West and instead demand specific steps by Iran, including shutting down their uranium enrichment and plutonium projects and shipping out their fissile material stocks. "He will tell the president ‘better no deal than a bad deal'," the Israeli official quoted by 'Reuters' said.
The Obama administration has been vague on exactly what concessions it wants from Iran, and a source close to the White House said the president is expected to resist Israeli pressure for a precise time limit for diplomacy to produce an agreement.

"I will speak the truth. Facts must be stated in the face of the sweet talk and the blitz of smiles," Netanyahu said at the airport in Tel Aviv before departing for the United States.


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