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Netanyahu 'Set to Clear Iran's Smokescreen'

Prime Minister is in New York, preparing to meet Obama and storm the press with interviews, then address UN.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/29/2013, 6:09 PM

The Netanyahus arrive in New York
The Netanyahus arrive in New York
Kobi Gideon, GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has arrived in New York. He is scheduled to meet U.S. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday, and to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

In addition, Netanyahu is reportedly planning to give a series of interviews to various press outlets, in an effort to couteract the effects of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's “charm offensive” last week. Iran wants sanctions against it lifted, and promises that its nuclear program is not meant for military purposes.

According to Israel Hayom, “sources in the know” said that Netanyahu will stress, in his meeting with Obama as well as his UN speech, that “any agreement with Iran is a bluff and a ruse that is meant to remove sanctions from Iran, without preventing the extremist regime in Teheran from achieving military nuclear capability.”

One of the sources explained that “Netanyahu's goal will be to clear the smokescren that Rouhani spread in New York. The Iranians are attempting to remove the sanctions that were placed on them thanks to Netanyahu's efforts, and want to give up the meaningless part of their program and maintain their main capabilities.”

In a report Saturday in the New York Times, a senior Israeli official said that “Netanyahu understands that there is a lot of euphoria.”

“Netanyahu knows that people in the international community will want to believe [Rouhani's promises,” he added. “I think you’ll see in his remarks a lot of facts, a lot of facts that no one denies.”

“The most critical problem with Iran is its aim of achieving nuclear weapons, but the problem with Iran is wider,” Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, told the Times. “Iran is not a peace-seeking country or regime — on the contrary. Iran is maybe the most aggressive country in the world, and it’s not just against Israel.”

As he left for New York overnight Saturday, Netanyahu promised “to tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and charm offensive of Iran.”

"Telling the truth at this time is essential for world peace and security and, of course, for Israel's security," noted Netanyahu.

Netanyahu plans to tell the United Nations General Assembly that Iran has enough uranium to produce nuclear weapons, according to the Sunday Times.

An unnamed senior Israeli official was quoted as having told the newspaper that Netanyahu will say in his speech on Tuesday that Iran currently has 219 kilograms (482 pounds) of enriched uranium, which is enough to produce a nuclear weapon.