Netanyahu orders gag on Rouhani-Obama call

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his ministers and spokesmen to refrain from public discussion of the historic phone call between the Iranian and US presidents.

Following Netanyahu’s Saturday instructions, Israeli Minister of Intelligence And International Affairs Yuval Steinitz and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, as well as Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, canceled scheduled interviews with various TV stations, the Israeli daily Ha’aretzreported on its website.

The decision is apparently made to avoid any possible criticism of Obama or US foreign policy by official Israeli figures ahead of Netanyahu’s planned meeting with Obama at the White House on Monday.

An unnamed Israeli source said discussing Iran is the main goal of the prime minister’s visit to the White House, prior to his address to the UN General Assembly.

“Netanyahu fears they’re heading toward a bad agreement with Iran, and if this is the situation, he prefers there be no agreement whatsoever,” the source said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his US counterpart, Barack Obama, held a landmark phone conversation on Friday, mostly focusing on Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Rouhani said the White House had contacted Iran’s permanent envoy to the UN as he was about to head to the airport to return home from a visit to New York where he attended the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

“I stressed in the conversation that the nuclear issue is not only the issue of the [Iranian] nation’s rights as well as Iran’s development, but it is also related to Iran’s national pride,” the Iranian President told reporters upon arriving in Tehran on Saturday, adding that Obama acknowledged Tehran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology in the conversation.

The Friday telephone call was the first direct communication between an Iranian and a US president since the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.

By Press TV


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