Netanyahu, in a CNN interview on Sunday, discussed his relationship with Obama and warned about the shortcomings of the framework nuclear deal with Iran.
Jim Acosta, CNN’s senior White House correspondent, asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu some difficult questions in an interview on Sunday, ranging from trusting US President Obama to specific details about the nuclear agreement.
“I trust that the president is doing what he thinks is good for the United States,” Netanyahu said, adding that he deeply respects both “the presidency and the president.”
“But I think we can have a legitimate difference of opinion on this, because I think Iran has shown to be completely distrustful.”
Prior to agreeing on the framework deal, an Iranian general stated that destroying Israel was non-negotiable. The United States has declined to address Netanyahu’s legitimate concerns regarding Iran’s murderous intentions.
The Israeli leader warned, “The ending of their ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles], that’s not in the deal…. They have missiles that can reach us and they’re geared for nuclear weapons.”
Israel Pays the Highest Price
Netanyahu said he was in favor of a diplomatic solution to the Iran crisis, because “for any military option, the country that will pay the biggest price is always Israel, so we want a diplomatic solution – but a good one, one that rolls back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and one that ties the final lifting of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program with a change of Iran’s behavior.”
“The alternatives are not either this bad deal or [going to] war,” Netanyahu continued, challenging Obama’s claim on Thursday that the Israeli leader was not looking for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“I think there’s a third alternative, and that is standing firm, ratcheting up the pressure until we get a better deal,” Netanyahu said. “And a better deal would roll back Iran’s vast nuclear infrastructure and require Iran to stop its aggression in the region, its terrorism worldwide and its calls and actions to annihilate the state of Israel. That’s better deal, it’s achievable.
Still Time for a Better Deal
“What is required is the application of very strong sanctions that have proven effective, financial sanctions and the oil sanctions. There’s still time to get a better deal,” he stated.
Challenged by the interviewer that perhaps his opposition to the Iranian deal was not representative of the Israeli people, Netanyahu reminded him that he was just re-elected, saying: “The overwhelming majority of Israelis support the position I just put forward, because they know their life is on the line.”
Indeed, on Friday the Israeli cabinet, including the opposition, unanimously rejected the framework deal with Iran.