Netanyahu refuses to meet with Obama after Iran deal

After meeting with 22 Jewish leaders, US President says he was denied his request to speak with Israeli prime minister due to Israel’s stance towards Iran nuclear deal

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

US President Barack Obama conducted a private meeting in the White House with 22 Jewish leaders from across the political spectrum on Tuesday, in which he stated that he is ready to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to discuss the necessary measures required for Israel to feel safer after the Iran nuclear agreement.

According to Obama, Netanyahu refused to have a meeting, for it would be seen as ‘waving a white flag,' since he is committed to continue fighting over the reached deal.

Netanyahu has recently launched a campaign to mobilise Jewish Americans to protest the Iran nuclear deal that is currently being reviewed by US congress.

"I don't oppose this deal because I want war. I oppose this deal because I want to prevent war. And this deal will bring war," Netanyahu said.

"This is a time to stand up and be counted. Oppose this dangerous deal."

A webcast was organized by Jewish groups in North America where Netanyahu re-emphasised Israel’s arguments toward the July 14 deal, arguing that the agreement reached was not enough to prevent Iranian nuclear projects and that sanction reliefs could aid Tehran in financing the destabilisation of regional conflicts.

Organisers said more than 10,000 people had signed up to view the webcast.

"It is safe to say that the opponents of the deal have been much more vocal and active in expressing their case. Thousands attended a very organised Jewish rally against the deal in New York," Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reported from the scene.

"The Citizens for a Nuclear-Free Iran is an organisation that has been recently born. It is spending some $1.7 million to lobby against the deal," she said.

"They are trying to get people to call their congressmen and congresswomen to push them to express their concerns."

The Obama administration’s authority was felt stepped on when Netanyahu spoke against Iran in Congress in March, which caused tension between the two allies.

The US Congress has until September 17 to come up with a final judgement regarding the Iran deal. A two-thirds majority in both houses is required to reject the deal, which observers say is doubtful.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei cast aside his notorious and longstanding mistrust of the United States and its allies on July 14 when he supported the signing of the nuclear deal in order to curb the decade long economic isolation of his country.

The deal between Iran and the six world powers is aimed at monitoring Iran's most sensitive nuclear work for over 12 years in exchange for immediate relief for the country from the economic sanctions that have long crippled its economy.

TRTWorld and agencies