Washington, September 30 (RHC)-- Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington to reportedly try to convince U.S. President Barack Obama that stepped-up sanctions, not diplomacy, is the way to deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
Netanyahu visits the White House on Monday and addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. His visit comes on the heels of a trip to the U.S. by an Iranian delegation headed by President Hassan Rouhani and his address before the UN that many in the West hailed as a first step to a possible resolution to the nuclear standoff.
The Iranian president said last week that Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and that atomic weapons contradict the Islamic Republic's religious convictions and have no place in the country's defense doctrine.
Capping off the visit, Rouhani and Obama had a 15-minute phone conversation that became the first direct communication between the presidents of the two countries since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979.
According to reports from the Zionist state, Netanyahu is deeply concerned about eased tensions between Iran and the United States and accuses Tehran of trying to buy time to build a nuclear weapon. Just before leaving the airport in Tel Avivi, the Israeli prime minister said: "I will tell the truth," adding that he will present "the facts in the face of sweet-talk and the onslaught of smiles."
Netanyahu plans to persuade the Obama administration to maintain tough economic sanctions on Iran which Tehran insists must be lifted in order for a nuclear deal to occur. Israeli analysts have expressed concern that Netanyahu's hard-line approach towards Iran is leaving him isolated by allies who want to give diplomacy a chance.