Friday, August 31, 2012
Netanyahu tells US 'time has run out' on Iran diplomacy
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu got into a diplomatic shouting match with US Ambassador Dan Shapiro over US President Barack Obama's handling of Iran's nuclear program, saying "time has run out" for diplomacy, Yediot Aharonot cited a source as saying on Friday.
According to the report, which the Jerusalem Post could not independently verify, the showdown took place as Netanyahu met with Shapiro and Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, who visited Israel earlier in the week.
A source that participated in the meeting said that a particularly angry and stressed Netanyahu began a tirade against the US president, attacking him for not doing enough on Iran. "Instead of pressuring Iran in an effective way, Obama and his people are pressuring us not to attack the nuclear facilities," the source quoted Netanyahu as saying.
Angered about continued US rhetoric that diplomacy needs more time to work, Netanyahu said flatly: "Time has run out,"Yediot reported.
The American ambassador is said to have responded politely but firmly, telling Netanyahu that he was distorting Obama's position. Obama promised not to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, he explained, and left all options on the table, including military options.
At that point, diplomatic sources told the paper, "sparks flew" in an escalating shouting match between Netanyahu and Shapiro as the stunned congressman watched.
Netanyahu and Obama may meet face-to-face on the sidelines of September's United Nations General Assembly meeting.