Friday, October 4, 2013

Netanyahu Warns Iran In Farsi, Considering Meeting Rouhani

In an interview with BBC Persia on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister showed off his command of Farsi, warning the Iranian people of the perils of allowing its government to obtain nuclear weapons, according to The Times of Israel.

During the interview, his first to a Farsi-language station, Netanyahu addressed the Iranian people directly, telling them the ayatollahs’ regime was responsible for the harsh sanctions and socio-economic situation they are enduring.

“You don’t want them [the regime] to have nuclear weapons because you’ll never get rid of this tyranny,” he warned. “I would welcome a genuine rapprochement, a genuine effort to stop the nuclear program, not a fake one, not harf-e pootch ['nonsense' in Farsi]. “We are not sadeh-lowe ['suckers' in Farsi],” said the prime minister.

“The Iranian people are paying a steep price for the military nuclear program the regime insists it doesn’t have,” Netanyahu said.

“I saw the desire of the Iranian people to have real freedom, a real life. The Iranian and Israeli people can be friendly once this regime falls.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani countered on twitter that Israel is upset because Iran’s message is being heard. The tweet read: “Tel Aviv upset & angry…because the Iranian nation’s message of #peace is being heard better. #Iran #Dialogue”

Early Friday however, reports have been reporting that Netanyahu told National Public Radio that he would “consider” meeting the Iranian president. According to The Times of Israel, Netanyahu, speaking to National Public Radio as part of a media blitz while in the US, said he would question Rouhani on Tehran’s nuclear program, which the Israeli leader has called to be completely shut down.
“I don’t care about the meeting. I don’t have a problem with the diplomatic process,” Netanyahu said to NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

“I haven’t been offered. If I’m offered, I’d consider it, but it’s not an issue,” he clarified. “If I meet with these people I’d stick this question in their face: Are you prepared to dismantle your program completely? Because you can’t stay with the [nuclear] enrichment.”
He also called Rouhani, considered a relative moderate, the “least bad” candidate of those who were allowed to run in Iran’s June presidential elections.

Netanyahu told NPR that Iran’s overtures toward a deal with the West to curb its uranium enrichment were “hogwash,” but said he would be “delighted” by a “real” deal, according to excerpts published by NPR. The full interview was to air on Morning Edition later Friday.
According to The Times, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Wednesday that Netanyahu was presiding over “intensive contacts” with unnamed Arab and Gulf leaders to form a new alliance against Iran, amid fears that the US would be duped by Tehran in the nascent diplomatic process.

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