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
“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
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
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.