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"Rattled" by Prospects of US/Iran Talks, Israel Lashes Out

Netanyahu expected to urge against progress towards peace at UN

- Jon Queally, staff writer

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was ridiculed last year for his cartoon depiction of Israel's "red line" concerning a nuclear-armed Iran. To date, despite wild accusations, no agency has presented evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and the Iranian government repeatedly says it does not have one and does not desire one. (Photo: Reuters)According to the New York Times, Israel is "clearly rattled by the sudden talk of a diplomatic opening" between the U.S. and Iran.

Even as Iran's President Hassan Rouhani makes continued and overt gestures that his country is willing to renew negotiations with the international community over its civilian nuclear program, the Times reports that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is gearing up to derail such developments.

Though the Israeli and U.S. governments (not to mention numerous media outlets) continue to misrepresent what is factually known about Iran's nuclear program, Netanyahu, according to the Times, will use his speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations on Tuesday to characterize Rouhani's recent overtures as nothing but a "trap" and to warn the U.S. against making any deal with with Tehran.

True to form, the Times quotes an "unnamed Israeli official" to forecast Netanyahu's remarks despite the rather predictable contents of the message. As Common Dreams reported last week,  Israeli government officials have been putting out a steady stream of comments trying to counter a possible détente between the U.S. and Iran.

In addition to Netanyahu's speech on Tuesday, both President Obama and President Rouhani are scheduled address the General Assembly as well. Speculation surrounds the possibility that leaders of the U.S. and Iran could meet, something that has not happened in decades.

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