Iran Tops Netanyahu’s Agenda in New York

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, and Iran will top the agenda.

Netanyahu, who has called for a cancellation or revision of the Iran nuclear deal, will be taking with him a detailed proposal for revisions in the deal if the U.S. will not go so far as to cancel the agreement altogether.

The prime minister intends to tell the president that Israel has in its possession information concerning hidden nuclear facilities which are in violation of the agreement signed with Tehran over a year ago, but which the International Nuclear Energy Agency has not inspected, even though it has received the relevant information.

Sources close to Netanyahu say that the agency inspectors prefer not to engage in confrontation with the Iranians, after they have blocked access to a number of sites which they asked to see. But as usual, after the Iranians “sanitized” the sites, they allowed the inspectors to visit.

The prime minister also told reporters that he will be discussing Iran with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, and advised them that their talks could have a significant impact on American policy toward Iran.

Iran will once again be the centerpiece of Netanyahu’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, though this time the stress may be more on the Iranian presence in Syria than its nuclear program, according to senior Israeli sources quoted in media reports on Sunday.

For the first time, Netanyahu plans to directly address his remarks to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the sources said.

Mossad chief Yossi Cohen was portrayed as the architect of Israel’s “hawkish line” on Iran in a Channel 2 report on Sunday. He was reported to have said that today’s Iran is the North Korea of yesterday, and that we have to act now so that we don’t one day wake up to a nuclear Iran.

Other voices in the defense establishment are counseling caution, the report said.

Regarding the Palestinians, Israeli officials are saying that the Palestinian Authority decision to withdraw from their bid to join the World Tourism Organization was the result of intense U.S. pressure, and that they will now demand something in return. That, too, will be on the table in PM Netanyahu’s meeting with Mr. Trump.

Tump is also expected to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas this week.

The Israeli Consulate in New York was sealed off on Friday after a package containing white powder with a death threat against the prime minister in English was delivered there. Following an urgent security inspection, the consulate was reopened shortly before Mr. Netanyahu’s arrival.