Israeli PM Netanyahu at the UN: “Trust, but verify.”

posted at 4:01 pm on October 2, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama got together in DC on Monday for what was almost certain to be a tense meeting after the White House’s apparent receptiveness to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s recent “charm offensive,” even as the White House continues to insist that they have every intention of holding Iran’s feet to the fire. Judging from his speech to the United Nations on Tuesday, however, I’m not sure that Netanyahu is hearing all of the specific assurances he’d like to from the Obama administration, via the WSJ:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu castigated the U.S. diplomatic outreach to Tehran, telling world leaders Iranian President Hasan Rouhani is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” determined to use a political thaw to advance his country’s nuclear program. …

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu derided Iran’s contention that it isn’t seeking nuclear weapons, cataloging reasons why he says Iran is lying about its pursuit of the bomb, in an address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. …

“I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons,” the Israeli prime minister said during a half-hour address. “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.” …

Mr. Netanyahu said in his speech that the U.S. risks being deceived by Iran into relaxing international sanctions, while Mr. Rouhani is committed to advancing Tehran’s nuclear program. …

“You see, Rouhani thinks he can have his yellowcake and eat it, too,” he quipped.

The New York Times editors were rather perturbed with Netanyahu’s “aggressive” and “combative” speech and lamented what a disaster it would be if he and his allies in Congress were “blinded by distrust of Iran that they exaggerate the threat, block President Obama from taking advantage of new diplomatic openings and sabotage the best chance to establish a new relationship since the 1979 Iranian revolution.” Hmm. Ed already covered the anti-nuke fatwa-that-wasn’t and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s skepticism about the whole thing, and Krauthammer didn’t seem too impressed with the White House’s promises on Special Report last night:



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I’m glad that you showed up and said your piece Bibi, but you have to know that you’ve already been sold down the river. Obama has decided that pretending to make nice with Iran is more important than the security of your nation. On the bright side, I know that you are too smart to allow your people’s safety to depend on the words and deeds of President Barack Hussein Obama.

MJBrutus on October 2, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Obama: fatwah, and tweet.

RovesChins on October 2, 2013 at 4:09 PM

That goes for obama, Israel.

p.s. you’re on your own.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Leader of the Free World.

Gingotts on October 2, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I’m glad that you showed up and said your piece Bibi, but you have to know that you’ve already been sold down the river. Obama has decided that pretending to make nice with Iran is more important than the security of your nation. On the bright side, I know that you are too smart to allow your people’s safety to depend on the words and deeds of President Barack Hussein Obama.

MJBrutus on October 2, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Smartest thing you’ve said all week, Brutus.

RovesChins on October 2, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Fatwah, schmatwah!!

Deano1952 on October 2, 2013 at 4:21 PM

He’s laying down markers, but I don’t think Bibi is under any illusion about Obama or about the U.N.

INC on October 2, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Beware the Obama fatwa!

albill on October 2, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Um, Erika? Netanyahu’s line was not “Trust, but verify.” It was this: “When it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons program, here’s my advice: Distrust, dismantle, and verify.” (Full text of speech here.)

Still shaking my head over your incorrect headline, especially since you actually quoted the NYT regarding Israel’s distrust. You really think Bibi would advocate trusting Iran?

Splashman on October 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Not entirely off topic, but for the record: I highly recommend reading Frederick Forsyth’s Gulf War novel, The Fist of God.

Yellowcake, indeed.

thejackal on October 2, 2013 at 8:12 PM

A person without a passport is HA’s international correspondent…

DarkCurrent on October 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Trust, but verify

One of the BS political phrases of all time.

If you trust someone, you don’t verify them. Tell us some more about trying to have it both ways.

It was BS when Reagan said it, it’s BS now.

Moesart on October 3, 2013 at 1:21 AM

That’s not what Netanyahu said.

steebo77 on October 3, 2013 at 11:05 AM