Iran General NewsNetanyahu expected to press Obama to keep Iran sanctions...

Netanyahu expected to press Obama to keep Iran sanctions in place

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UPI: Sanctions against Iran must remain unless it ends its nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to tell President Obama Monday. The two leaders are to meet in the White House Oval Office at 11:15 a.m. EDT.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) — Sanctions against Iran must remain unless it ends its nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to tell President Obama Monday.

The two leaders are to meet in the White House Oval Office at 11:15 a.m. EDT and then have a working lunch about an hour later, the administration said Sunday evening.

Their meeting and lunch are to take place three days after Obama held a 15-minute phone conversation with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — the first conversation between U.S. and Iranian leaders since 1979.

The call raised concerns in Israel, which fears the United States, one of its closest allies, will improve relations with Iran, one of its greatest enemies, at Israel’s expense, British newspaper The Guardian reported.

“I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and offensive of smiles,” Netanyahu said Saturday night before flying to New York.

“One must talk facts and tell the truth. Telling the truth today is vital for the security and peace of the world and, of course, it is vital for the security of our country.”

The Israeli leader has argued Iran must halt all uranium enrichment, remove all enriched uranium from the country, dismantle its deep-underground Fordo uranium-enrichment plant south of Tehran, near the holy city of Qom, and halt construction of a 40 megawatt heavy-water reactor in Arak, 180 miles southwest of Tehran, set to begin nuclear operation next year.

Netanyahu, who is to fly to Washington early Monday, is expected to press that point with Obama, a senior Israeli official told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

He is also expected to argue Washington and other Western powers should leave in place or even intensify their economic sanctions, which have devastated the Iranian economy, until Iran meets all conditions on halting nuclear enrichment, the newspaper said.

Obama said Friday after his call with Rouhani he respected Iran’s right to develop civilian nuclear energy, but said he insisted on concessions to prevent weapons development.

Obama and Rouhani agreed on the call to accelerate talks aimed at defusing the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, and both said afterward they were optimistic about the prospects of reconciliation.

“Resolving this issue, obviously, could also serve as a major step forward in a new relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, one based on mutual interests and mutual respect,” Obama told reporters Friday.

“It would also help facilitate a better relationship between Iran and the international community, as well as others in the region.”

A Twitter account in Rouhani’s name said, “In regards to #nuclear issue, with political #will, there is a way to rapidly solve the matter.”

The account added Rouhani had told Obama, “We’re hopeful about what we will see from” Washington and other major powers “in coming weeks and months.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on a “60 Minutes” broadcast on CBS Sunday night if Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful “and we can all see that — the whole world sees that — the relationship with Iran can change dramatically for the better, and it can change fast.”

Netanyahu is to meet with Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden while in Washington.

The prime minister will then fly back to New York and deliver an address to the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday.

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