U.S. Officials: Netanyahu Indicated That UN Speech Concludes His Fight Against Iran Deal

Senior U.S. officials say Netanyahu signaled he is ready to discuss nuclear agreement's aftermath; PM and Kerry meet in New York.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waits to speak during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waits to speak during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.Credit: AP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

New York – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the U.S. administration that his speech on Thursday at the UN General Assembly, in which he dealt extensively with the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, would be his swan song on his public fight against the accord, senior American officials told Haaretz.

"They told us right after the speech that the Iran part was intended to close the chapter on the dealtime will tell if this is the case," one U.S. official said, citing Netanyahu's aides.

The senior American officials stressed that the government got the impression from the message by Netanyahu’s people that after many months of fighting the nuclear deal, the prime minister is ready to move on to talking about what comes next and the ways in which the United States and Israel will jointly deal with Iran and its subversive activities in the region.

Netanyahu convened with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday for an initial discussion. Before heading into the meeting, the two condemned the terror attack that killed an Israeli couple in the West Bank and the shooting spree that killed nine at an Oregon college on Thursday.

"Today Israel and Americans are united in grief," Netanyahu said, noting that the Palestinian Authority has yet to condemn the West Bank attack. Kerry said: "Our hearts go to out to Israelis whose lives are lost, and in Oregon, where we have our own violence in our own country."

Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House at the beginning of November for their first meeting in over a year. Senior administration officials hope the Kerry meeting will provide additional evidence of Israel’s preparedness to deal with the post-deal reality.

Netanyahu did not deny in a press briefing Thursday night that he sent such a message to the Americans and sufficed with a general statement that “I didn’t give any approval of the nuclear deal.” Still, Netanyahu stressed in the briefing as well as in his speech that the time has come to look forward to the day after the nuclear deal and focus on several essential issues to continue the struggle against Iran.

He called for uncompromising implementation of the nuclear deal, including confirmation that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are carrying out effective inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“Force Iran to meet all its nuclear obligations,” said Netanyahu. “Confirm that Iran’s violations are not swept under the Persian rug.”

Second, he called for a meticulously maintained mechanism for snapback of sanctions in order to make sure how, when and in response to which violations sanctions will be reimposed.

Finally, he called for international action against Iranian subversion in the region and its support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Netanyahu believes that the United States must now actively support others fighting Iranian aggression, first and foremost Israel.

Netanyahu will stress to Kerry and Obama that sanctions should be tightened regarding Iranian terrorist activity around the world and that new sanctions should be imposed on Iran.