In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dismissed as “completely groundless” allegations he is manufacturing a crisis with US President Barack Obama just before the November 6 American election to influence the outcome in favor of Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Netanyahu, in a Rosh Hashana interview that will appear in full on Sunday, said his call for the United States and the international community to set red lines for Iran was not at all connected with the US political campaign.
“It has nothing to do with the American elections, because the Iranian nuclear program doesn’t care about the American political calendar,” the prime minister said.
“If the centrifuges stop miraculously, if they stop preparing enriched uranium to make atomic bombs, then I suppose I wouldn’t have to speak out.
“But the Iranian nuclear program proceeds unabated and they don’t care about the internal American political calendar. For me this is a policy issue, a security issue, and not a political issue,” he said.
Netanyahu characterized his post-midnight telephone call Wednesday with Obama as a “good conversation.”
“We spoke about our common goal of stopping Iran from developing its nuclear weapons program, and our desire to closely coordinate our efforts,” he related.
When asked whether Obama referred to his comments that those who do not place red lines in front of the Iranians cannot place a red light in front of Israel, Netanyahu replied that he was “not going to get into details of this discussion.
“Obviously I have my views and am not exactly shy about expressing them when I think that Israel’s vital security concerns are involved,” Netanyahu said. “This is my responsibility as the prime minister of the Jewish state.
We are facing the greatest security challenge of any country on the face of the earth, and when I feel I need to speak out, I do.”