Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has told his government ministers not to grant any interviews to the press regarding diplomatic matters – including the efforts currently being made by the United States to resolve the problem of Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Several ministers had to cancel scheduled interviews because of Netanyahu's instruction.
In political circles, the estimates are that the prime minister's instruction – which was delivered in a round of telephone calls – is meant to prevent the ministers from voicing opinions and observations that would embarrass Netanyahu, ahead of his upcoming meeting with US President Barack Obama.
Netanyahu and his entourage are scheduled to take off for the US shortly after midnight Saturday night. Besides meeting Obama, he is scheduled to speak before the UN General Assembly. The speech will focus on Iran and its nuclear weapons program.
A telephone call Friday between US President Barack Obama and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is being hailed as a historic development. The call is the first of its kind between an American and Iranian president in more than three decades.
After the Iranian leader rebuffed an American request to meet Obama when the two were at the UN General Assembly, Obama reached Rouhani by phone as the Iranian leader was headed to the airport to leave New York.