Daily Israel Report

'Time is Running Out' on Iran, Netanyahu Told Visiting U.S. Rep.

A meeting between Netanyahu and a visiting U.S. lawmaker reportedly ended on a sour note over the Iranian nuclear issue.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 8/31/2012, 11:53 PM

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A meeting last week between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a visiting U.S. lawmaker ended on a sour note over the Iranian nuclear issue, the Hebrew-language daily Yediot Aharonot reported on Friday.

The report quoted officials who attended a meeting between Netanyahu and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI). The sources said that Netanyahu strongly criticized U.S. President Barack Obama during the meeting, claiming that he is not doing enough to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“Instead of effectively pressuring Iran, Obama and his people are pressuring us not to attack its nuclear facilities,” Netanyahu reportedly said. He then criticized what he termed the Americans’ “stalling” and the declarations on the part of U.S. officials that there is still time for diplomacy. “Time is running out,” he was quoted as having said.

According to the report, the escalation came when U.S. ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, who also attended the meeting, fired back at Netanyahu and accused him of misrepresenting the position of President of the United States.

Shapiro reportedly quoted Obama, who promised he would not to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons and has often said that “all options are on the table.”

Officials at the meeting also told Yediot Aharonot that the argument between the two intensified to an exceptional level. The U.S. Embassy chose not to comment.

Friday’s report came a day after the U.S. military's top officer made statements which appear to warn Israel that it should not expect U.S. assistance if it chooses to attack Iran's nuclear weapons program.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran's nuclear program.” He added: "I don't want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it."

Dempsey said he did not know Iran's nuclear intentions, since intelligence does not reveal intentions. What was clear, he said, was that the "international coalition" applying pressure on Iran "could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely".

Also on Thursday, a new report by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Iran has increased its uranium enrichment capacity by at least 30% in the last four months.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)