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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid