Netanyahu Warned Obama, Says MK

MK Hanegbi says PM told US leader his policy toward Iran could end in failure similar to North Korea, Pakistan.

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Gil Ronen,

Netanyahu embraces Obama
Netanyahu embraces Obama
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a stern warning to US President Barack Obama when they spoke on the phone Sunday, according to MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud).

Hanegbi told the Knesset Channel, in an interview to be aired Tuesday, that "the prime minister made clear to the strongest man in the world that if he wants to remain the strongest man in the world, it is important to make a change in US policy."

More specifically, Netanyahu warned Obama that "the practical result of the current policy could lead him to the same failure the Americans suffered vis-à-vis North Korea and Pakistan," said Hanegbi. "Iran could be the next in line."

Channel 2 television's website quoted a senior Israeli source as saying that "in Geneva, Obama established Iran as a nuclear threshold state" – a paraphrase of Zionist leader Binyamin Ze'ev Herzl's famous diary entry following the first Zionist Congress, "In Basel, I founded the Jewish state."

Hanegbi's words regarding "the strongest man in the world" are probably his own and not an attempt to quote or paraphrase Netanyahu's actual statement to Obama. 

North Korea acquired the ability to produce nuclear weapons while deceiving the West regarding its intentions. Pakistan is the only Islamic country known to have the ability to produce nuclear weapons.

The White House said Sunday that President Obama phoned Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the deal made Saturday with Iran over its nuclear program.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with Obama on Sunday that the United States "looks forward to consulting with its ally Israel on international negotiations with Tehran." Earnest said the White House "understands Israel's skepticism about Iran's intentions."

According to reports earlier this month, Obama had refused to take calls from Netanyahu on several recent occasions, snubbing him by forwarding the calls to Secretary of State John Kerry.