Obama Says Netanyahu’s Interference in American Politics “Unprecedented”

By IMEMC | – –

US President Barack Obama, in an interview with CNN, said that Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s interference in American politics is “unprecedented”, especially following the Iran deal.

In the interview, which will be fully aired later on Sunday, Obama was asked if it was “appropriate of a foreign head of government to inject himself into an American affair.”

“I will let you ask Prime Minister Netanyahu that question,” Obama responded, adding: “I don’t recall a similar example.”

Speaking of the deal, Obama said it was “very good for Israel” adding that Netanyahu was wrong to get upset about it because “it is the best way for Iran not to get a nuclear weapon – then it’s not just good for the U.S., but it’s also very good for Israel.”

Obama added that the agreement reached last month, by the U.S. and five other world powers, to remove crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program achieves that goal “better than any alternative.”

Republican lawmakers largely disagree with the president’s assessment that the deal blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, as do some of Obama’s own Democrats, Haaretz said according to the PNN.

Obama was interviewed by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, last Thursday, just hours before Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s leading Jewish Democrat, announced he would oppose the agreement.

Congress is expected to vote in September on a measure disapproving the deal, which Obama has promised a swift veto. Lawmakers would, then, have to secure enough votes to override the president.

The interview is set to air as Obama vacations on the Massachusetts island known as Martha’s Vineyard.

He is not expected to spend much, if any, time reaching out to lawmakers on the Iran nuclear deal while he is away from Washington. “I think most of the president’s time on Martha’s Vineyard will be spent with his family, or on the golf course, or a bit of both,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

The Huffington Post: “Obama Discusses Netanyahu, Palestine & Iran Nuclear Deal”

19 Responses

  1. Many of Israels top defense and intelligence people support the agreement.
    Search “irandelafacts.org”. It contains the entire text of the agreement with explanations. It also gives assessments and statements by nuclear experts and Israeli experts Bibi just want to stay in power.

  2. If this was other than Israel against Obama, Republicans would be outraged that another country is intervening so clearly in US politics. Of course, the US has done that many times in other countries.

  3. Rice:’Goal was never’ to keep Iran from getting a slush fund to spend on terrorism.
    National Security Advisor Susan Rice said that when international inspectors take a peek at Iran’s nuclear facilities, there won’t be an American in the bunch.
    “There are not going to independent American inspectors separate from the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” Rice told CNN. “The IAEA will be doing inspections — the inspections on behalf of the United States and the rest of the international community.”
    Rice called the blowback over the deal’s inspections-approval board — on which Iran holds a seat and will be able to appeal decisions — “misplaced concern.”
    “What we’re talking about is the rare case when we have a suspicious site or other suspicious entity that we or other members of the international community believe needs to be inspected. In that case, the IAEA will go to Iran and say we need to look at this. And if the Iranians say no, there will be a process for working out that access to the IAEA’s satisfaction,” she said.
    “If that does not occur, then the United States, acting with its European partners, can together decide that that inspection must occur. And if it hasn’t occurred by the end of 24 days, Iran will be in violation of the agreement and we would be in a position to go straight to the U.N. Security Council and automatically, unilaterally, by the United States, reimpose sanctions… So we’re not concerned that that length of time gives the Iranians the ability to hide nefarious nuclear activity.”
    Asked about Iran using its sanctions relief slush fund to sink money into international terrorism, Rice said the deal was about the nuclear program only.
    “The U.N. resolutions that set up this structure always envisioned that if an when Iran met its obligations and we could be confident that they were not engaged in illegal construction or preparations for a nuclear weapon, that all the sanctions would be lifted. That’s what the — that’s what we all signed up to,” she said.
    “What do we think they’ll spend that money on? We think for the most part, they’re going to need to spend it on the Iranian nuclear program and their economy, which has tanked.”
    But, she added, “we should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.”
    “But the goal here was never — and it was not designed to prevent them from engaging in bad behavior in the region. They’re doing that today.”
    Pressed on what happens if Congress shoots down a deal with veto-proof majority, Rice insisted “it’s hardly important what it means to the president’s legacy.”
    “If this deal is going to fail, let it be because the Iranian government didn’t implement its obligations. And if that’s the case, we’re in a strengthened position. We can maintain the sanctions regime and we will have the international community behind us for whatever else we may need to do,” she said.
    “But if we jettison a deal that is a good deal, that accomplishes everything we set out to accomplish, then it’s on us. And Iran is unconstrained and the sanctions regime and international unity is destroyed. That makes no sense.”

    Bridgett Johnson 7/16/15

    Smokedsalmoned comment – If you are dealing with a terrorist nation, trying to prevent them from building a nuclear bomb, a nation whos weapons have helped kill more americans than any other nation since 9/11 according to our own National Security department why wouldn’t preventing them from using the funds you are about to give them from going to terrorist activities be one of your goals?

    • First of all, Iran is NOT a “terrorist nation.” If any nation could be called a “terrorist nation” it would be the USA which has unilaterally destroyed more humans than any other nation on earth during the last 50 years. In particular, the USA in 1953 destroyed the democratic government of Iran and installed a brutal dictator who killed thousands until he was removed by the people of Iran in 1979.

      Note also that Iran has NOT killed all that many Americans, the Al Qaida and ISIS Sunnis funded by the Saudis really take that prize.

      Then there is the slight problem that the USA has no right to tell any nation how to spend its money, nor can the USA prevent other nations form trading with Iran and enriching Iran. Note that only a small portion of the money Iran is owed is controlled by the USA – the rest is owed by other countries that will return the money regardless what the USA wants.

      It appears that you do not understand that making a demand and expecting capitulation is NOT a negotiation and is a sure way to have the other side tell you to go f*** yourself and once they do that you have no other options expect accept that you have failed. Keep in mind that no country has ever been successful long term trying to impose its will on others by force. the person using the force ALWAYS LOSES.

      As Powers noted, this negotiation was ONLY about one thing – limiting the possibility of Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Nothing else was really on the table because quite frankly the other things were never going to be agreed to and would just muck up the one thing that needed to be negotiated.

      The most important lesson I learned from my late wife and Sun Tzu is “pick your battles.” The battle here was nuclear weapons, not the rest of the stuff you are so angry about. We can try to negotiate about the other stuff, but Iran would be well withing its rights to expect that the USA and Israel would give up a lot in return.

      Iran is NOT going to capitulate and if you think brute force will get you what you want, you are welcome to put your own life on the line to try that, but when you get killed, do not expect a funeral.

    • Critics seem to ignore the fact that there 5 other nations in addition to the US working on this deal and they were, in effect, acting on the behalf of the UN Security Council, which has endorsed the Agreement. Anyone who believes that this can just be jettisoned and a new deal negotiated or new sanctions imposed after this deal has been negotiated is living in a fantasyland and does not understand at all how international politics works. The alternative to this Agreement is no agreement. If there is no agreement, Iran will either seek a nuclear weapon or it won’t. If it seeks a nuclear weapon after the US has repudiated this Agreement, no other country will follow the US in imposing new sanctions and the alternatives then will be to do nothing or to go to war. When President Reagan negotiated with the USSR on nuclear weapons, he did not try to get them to change any of their other policies. Critics either are just anti-Obama or else they cannot thing logically and analytically. If you do, it is clear that there is no better alternative available than this Agreement. Which is why critics never provide a realistic alternative.

  4. Sarkozy tells Obama he thinks Netanyahu (Israel’s Leader) is a liar at November 2011 G20 summit and Obama appears to agree with him…caught on tape!
    “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.
    “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.
    So Obama is essentially agreeing with Sarkozy that he at a minimum does not like working with the Israel’s leader and most would argue that he is agreeing with Sarkozy’s position that Netanyahu a liar.
    Our lone friend in the Middle East and Obama apparently despises him. When your choice is working with Israel or the terrorists over in Palestine, it appears that Obama and Sarkozy have made their choice. Yet another in a long list of Obama hostility toward Israel if not outright anti-semitism.

    Source: news.yahoo.com/sarkozy-told-obama-fed-israeli-pm-092347721.html
    (When you have to choose between terrorists and the state of Israel, is there really a choice? Obama is either a naïve fool or a useful idiot supporter of Islam.)

    • Lone friend? Sounds to me like we need some more friends in the Middle East.

      And “anti-semitism?” Please. You will never be taken seriously if you go around throwing out nonsense like that.

      Add to that that Netanyahu IS a liar. That’s a fact. Israel has been involved in espionage against us, as well as trying to work around our President with hostile traitors in our legislature. If you call that a “friend,” I would hate to see what you call an enemy.

    • Have you ever heard about the Lavon Affair? If not, you are unqualified to comment on whether Israel is a friend of the United States or not.

    • Obama is neither a naive fool nor a tool of Islam (whatever that is).

      What Obama is, is a realist that understands the limits of USA power and that Israel is a mere pipsqueak of a nation that many times is more bother than it is worth.

      Obama has to do what is BEST to the USA and if that means throwing Israel overboard, so be it. That is how all nations operate and the way the USA has operated for over 200 years.

      In the grand scheme of history, there is no real difference between Israel and any other country and Israel should not get any special consideration.

      • Me thinks smoked salmon has an agenda. Without quibbling on these posts, I’d refuse the bait. It is worth remarking how much of full-court press is emerging against this deal; and it doesn’t strike me as grassroots.

  5. Israel has no business being so loud in our media and our politics – If they provided the U.S. with billions of dollars in AID as we do for them ..then maybe – but they dont – not even close – its a welfare state with a big mouth

  6. I thought it illegal for foreign country to lobby the USA. How much have these congress members taken from Israel, how many trips to Israel have they taken; many of them should not be allowed to vote on the issue because they are more closely tied to Israel than the USA.

    • Under USA law (passed by congress and signed by the POTUS), Israel is the only country exempt from the foreign agent laws.

      That is, it is illegal for any country (UK, France, Saudi Arabia, China, etc.) to do the things Israel gets away with.

      Israel is treated even better than most USA states and territories. For some reason (probably lack of knowledge) the states and territories put up with the situation.

      I wonder how many states would love to get $3 billion a year with no strings attached?

  7. Oil price spike is predicted for 2016-2017. USA wants to have the option of buying from Iran. Israel is afraid this will ruin its pipeline plans and the war it has sponsored in Syria and now actively participating in. Iran will become a regional superpower providing an alternative option as a partner to the West. This is the only reasoning behind the deal and Netanyahu

    • USA companies have no chance of buying any Iranian oil (or Iraqi oil for that matter) because China has signed lots of very nice long term contracts for oil all over the world. China uses their wealth to buy friends rather than trying to use brute force like the USA.

      Not only that but the USA sanctions put in place in 1979 prevent USA companies from trading with Iran and it is unlikely the USA congress critters will remove USA sanctions on Iran any time soon (they are just as worthless today as they were in 1979).

      BTW – unless Israel and the Saudis start a war with Iran, The current supply/demand projections are the world will have sufficient oil through the 2020s. The price will fluctuate somewhat as the high cost producers try to get the price up to where they make a little profit and the low cost producers try to keep market share.

  8. Racist Republicans are against ANYTHING Obama does. And only Democrats in thrall to Israel (e.g., Chuck Schumer) oppose this sensible Iran nuclear deal. They should be ignored. Obama has enough votes to uphold his veto (including Schumer’s who’s trying to have it both ways).

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