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Poll: Most of Israelis Don't Believe Rouhani

78% of Israelis don't believe that Iranian president's recent statements on wanting dialogue with the United States are genuine.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/30/2013, 2:16 AM

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani
Reuters

A majority of Israelis do not believe the conciliatory remarks sounded by Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, a poll released Sunday found.

The poll, which was conducted for Channel 10 News by the Panel Institute, found that 78% of Israeli citizens believe that Rouhani's recent statements on wanting dialogue with the United States are not genuine.

The survey shows that only 12% believe that Rouhani’s remarks are genuine and that he really agrees to be flexible on his country’s nuclear program in exchange for easing the economic sanctions on Iran. 10% responded that they do not know if Rouhani is genuine.

59% of Israelis, more than half of those surveyed, believe that the diplomatic rapprochement between Iran and the West will not lead to an agreement on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. 29% believe that the United States will be able to reach an arrangement with Rouhani and 12% could not answer the question.

The survey also found that 58% of the public supports Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordering the Israeli delegation in the United Nations to leave during Rouhani’s speech last week. 30% said they believe that having the Israeli delegation walk out was the wrong decision and 12% did not know how to answer.

Netanyahu arrived in New York on Sunday. 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 counteract the effects of Rouhani's “charm offensive” last week.

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.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Iran's Foreign Minister accused Netanyahu of peddling lies Sunday over Tehran's nuclear activities, and defended his country's "non-negotiable" right to enrich uranium.

Mohammad Javad Zarif told ABC's George Stephanopolous that Netanyahu was wrong to allege that Iran's recent moves to cooperate with the West amount to little more than an insincere charm offensive.