JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to “tell the truth” about Iran during his visit to New York and Washington.
Netanyahu landed in Washington on Sunday after making his remarks on Iran the previous evening before boarding his flight to the United States.
Amid thawing Iran-U.S. relations, the Israeli leader said, “I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and the onslaught of smiles.”
Netanyahu was referring to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who offered a more conciliatory tone than his predecessor in his address last week to the United Nations General Assembly and on Friday spoke by phone with President Obama.
Following the conversation, Obama said he was certain that Iran and the world powers could work to resolve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program.
Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Obama at the White House on Monday and to address the Nations General Assembly in New York the following day.
“Telling the truth today is vital for the security and peace of the world and, of course, it is vital for the security of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli leader reportedly will allege during his General Assembly speech that Iran has enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon.
Netanyahu earlier on Saturday ordered all government ministers and official spokespeople to refrain from making public statements about the 15-minute phone conversation.
But Avidgor Liberman, chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and former foreign minister, in a post on his Facebook page threw his support behind Netanyahu.
“Now, when the world’s attention is focused on the new Iranian president’s attempts to appear moderate and conciliatory,” Lieberman wrote, “it is important to remember that the Iranians have long employed a pattern of deceit: with various tactics of promises, stalling and feeding the international community with false information time and time again, all the while pursuing their goal of obtaining a nuclear weapon, that is meant to threaten world peace.”
Liberman added that it is “worth remembering that in the case of the Iraqi reactor in the early 1980s, Israel was the only one to warn, and in retrospect it became evident that we were right. And so it was in other cases, too.”