News / Middle East

Iran to Top Agenda During Netanyahu US Visit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, Sept. 8, 2013.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, Sept. 8, 2013.
Robert Berger
Israel’s leader is coming to the United States, hoping to counter media and diplomatic appearances by Iran’s new president that seemed to improve ties with the West.
 
Iran will top the agenda for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visits the White House on Monday and addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. His visit follows what many commentators called a "charm offensive" in the United States last week by Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani, who is hailed by some in the West as a moderate.
 
Netanyahu is deeply concerned about eased tensions between Iran and the international community, saying Tehran is using talks to try to lessen crippling sanctions and to buy more time to build a nuclear weapon.
 
"I will tell the truth,” Netanyahu said at the airport in Tel Aviv, before departing for the U.S. He said that he will present “the facts…in the face of sweet-talk and the onslaught of smiles."
 
Rouhani told the U.N. General Assembly last week Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and that atomic weapons contradict the country’s religious and ethical convictions.
 
But Israel sees Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to its existence, and it fears that the world is being fooled about Tehran’s intentions. Danny Ayalon, a former deputy foreign minister in the Netanyahu government, urged caution. “We should not just fall into the trap of this smokescreen,” said he.
 
He added that Iran’s actions will speak louder than words.
 
“Whether they are ready to bite the bullet in terms of stopping the centrifuges and enriching uranium, inspection, and everything that needs to be done in a transparent way, we have yet to see that. The proof is only in the doing, not in the talking,” said Ayalon.
 
Adding to the tension between the two countries, Israel announced that it has arrested an Iranian spy. The Shin Bet security service said the man was sent by Iran’s Revolutionary guards to set up businesses in Israel as a front for espionage.
 
The alleged spy was described as a Belgian citizen of Iranian origin who was caught with pictures he took of Israeli facilities and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. According to the Shin Bet, he confessed, saying Iranian intelligence agents promised him $1 million.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs