Israeli officials on Monday rejected a claim by U.S. President Barack Obama that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is intervening in American affairs with his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.
In a CNN interview on Sunday, Obama was asked if Netanyahu has “injected himself forcefully” into Washington affairs, and he replied “right.” When asked whether this was appropriate, Obama said, “I’ll let you ask Prime Minister Netanyahu that question if he gives you an interview,” and that “I don’t recall a similar example” of a foreign leader meddling in U.S. affairs.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold told Army Radio that Israel is “looking at what the implications of the [nuclear] deal are,” and that Netanyahu has “a duty to warn the U.S. public and the world of the implications of the deal.”
Gold noted that the deal means “$150 billion added to the Iranian coffers and from there transferred to the terror organizations surrounding Israel, like Hamas and Hezbollah and groups in Syria.”
“Everyone is talking with everyone and we are part of that debate. That is just the way it is. The idea that Israel can give its opinion in public appearances and television programs and even on Capitol Hill is a very legitimate thing,” he added.
Additionally, a senior Israeli official categorically denied Obama’s assertion to CNN by stating that Israel “is not meddling in internal American affairs,” the Times of Israel reported.