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Sep 30, 2013

Israel’s Netanyahu meets Obama, will urge no let-up on Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will warn President Barack Obama in White House talks on Monday that Iran’s diplomatic “sweet talk” cannot be trusted and will urge him to keep up the pressure to prevent Tehran from being able to make a nuclear bomb.

While Obama will attempt to reassure Netanyahu that he will not act prematurely to ease sanctions on Iran, growing signs of a U.S.-Iranian thaw have rattled Israel and could make for a tense encounter between the two leaders, who have not always seen eye-to-eye on the Iranian nuclear dispute.

Sep 30, 2013

Israel’s Netanyahu to press Obama for no let-up on Iran pressure

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will warn President Barack Obama at
a meeting on Monday that Iran’s diplomatic “sweet talk” cannot
be trusted and will urge him to pressure Tehran to prevent it
being able to make a nuclear bomb.

While Obama will attempt to reassure Netanyahu that he will
not act prematurely to ease sanctions on Iran, growing signs of
a U.S.-Iranian thaw have rattled Israel and could make for a
tense encounter between the two leaders, who have not always
seen eye-to-eye on the Iranian nuclear dispute.

Sep 29, 2013

Iran is biggest test for Obama’s often rocky ties with Netanyahu

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Six months after U.S. President Barack Obama eased a strained relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Israel dubbed “Operation Desert Schmooze,” the two leaders now face the biggest test of whether they can work together – and the stakes are higher than ever.

A diplomatic charm offensive by new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has suddenly opened up a gap between the White House and Netanyahu’s government. How they respond could have far-reaching implications for their political legacies as well as the future stability of the Middle East.

Sep 25, 2013

Iranian leader’s smooth diplomacy poses new challenge for Israel

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A charm offensive toward the West by Iran’s new president and his nuanced approach to his predecessor’s Holocaust denial have run into an Israeli wall of suspicion hardened by Tehran’s nuclear pursuits.

Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, will not be fooled by Hassan Rouhani’s international outreach and the world must not be either.

Sep 24, 2013

Israel bleak about U.S.-Iran rapprochement at U.N. summit

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel voiced concern on Tuesday over a potential meeting of the U.S. and Iranian presidents, saying Tehran sought reconciliation with world powers as a ruse to press on with its nuclear program.

Iran’s new government has taken its charm offensive to the annual U.N. General Assembly, agreeing to international nuclear negotiations that would include its foreign minister seeing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Sep 18, 2013

Israeli general says Assad could survive in Syria for years

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could cling to power for years despite having lost overall control of his country, according to Israel’s top commander on the frontier with Syria.

Major-General Yair Golan’s remarks, published on Wednesday in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, reflected debate in Israel over Assad’s fate, 2-1/2 years into Syria’s civil war, after a U.S.-Russian agreement to force him to give up his chemical weapons.

Sep 17, 2013

In public shift, Israel calls for Assad’s fall

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli ambassador to the United States says Israel has wanted to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power since before the outbreak of war there – a shift from its publicly-stated position.

It sees his defeat by rebels who include al Qaeda-linked Islamists as preferable to his current alliance with Iran, ambassador Michael Oren said.

Sep 12, 2013

Israeli minister cautiously welcomes Syria chemical arms plan

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A senior Israeli official close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced cautious support on Thursday for a plan to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

“I cannot say that we have full faith, but if this Russian proposal … will really remove the chemical weaponry from Syria, first of all, and will then dismantle it … then this is a way to end this tragedy and a way to end this threat too,” Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said.

Sep 8, 2013

U.S. would notify Israel hours before Syria attack: Israeli official

HERZLIYA, Israel (Reuters) – The United States would notify Israel hours in advance of an attack on Syria, an Israeli official said on Sunday.

While formally on the sidelines of the Syrian crisis, Israel fears coming under reprisals from its northern foe should the United States launch strikes to punish Damascus for alleged use of chemical weaponry.

Sep 3, 2013

Unannounced Israel-U.S. missile test fuels jitters over Syria

JERUSALEM/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Israel tested a U.S.-backed missile system in the Mediterranean on Tuesday but did not announce the launch in advance, prompting a disclosure by Russia that kept the world on edge as the United States weighed an attack on Syria.

The morning launch was first reported by Moscow media that quoted Russian defense officials as saying two ballistic “objects” had been fired eastward from the center of the sea – roughly in the direction of Syria.