Dore Gold, the Foreign Ministry director general and a close confidante of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has defended Israel’s active participation in the U.S. debate over the Iran deal.
“We are looking at what the implications of the deal are,” he told Army Radio on Monday. “The prime minister has … a duty to warn the U.S. public and the world of the implications of the deal.”
President Barack Obama gave his assent to the view suggested by a CNN interviewer that Israel’s outspokenness in the debate was unprecedented and inappropriate.
Gold noted that Israel was not alone in lobbying on the issue, as deputy foreign ministers from Germany, Britain and France have also gone to Washington where they spoke to congressmen about it.
“Everyone is talking with everyone and we are part of that debate. That is just the way it is,” he said. “The idea that Israel can give its opinion in public appearances and media programs and even on Capitol Hill is a very legitimate thing.”
In a Monday morning interview on Army Radio, U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro confirmed that “everyone has the right to express their opinion about the agreement.”
Shapiro also clarified Obama’s flap with AIPAC, explaining that his irritation with the lobby was due to what he termed “inaccurate” information it has disseminated about the Iran deal.
“It is clear that [Obama] wants the debate, the discussion, the dialogue to be based on the facts of the agreement. So he is trying to convince everyone first of all that it is a good deal but also focus the discussion based on facts of the agreement,” Shapiro said.
“In every political debate there are examples of exaggeration and inaccurate facts. Sometimes people don’t understand how certain parts of the deal work.”