As President Barack Obama continues to take verbal jabs at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli leader has maintained his focus on forging a better agreement with Iran to limit its development of nuclear weapons.

Obama used one of his favorite debate tactics in shifting attention from the controversial “framework” Secretary of State John Kerry announced as a major victory to Netanyahu.

Rather than address the critical differences the U.S. and Iran have in the understanding of the terms or the increasing concessions Obama is making to incentivize Iran’s signature, the president chose to chastise Netanyahu for opposing the “framework” without putting forth an alternative.

“The prime minister of Israel is deeply opposed to it – I think he’s made that very clear. I have repeatedly asked: What is the alternative that you present that you think makes it less likely for Iran to get a nuclear weapon. And I have yet to obtain a good answer on that.”

The statement creates the impression that the choice is either the current deal the Obama administration has on the table or nothing, presuming that no other country could be more effective in forcing Iran to a better one.

Within hours, Netanyahu replied with a specific alternative, as requested, although he noted that he it was not the first time he had offered Obama an alternative.

“So let me reiterate again, the two main components of the alternative to this bad deal,” he began, proposing that the agreement first require Iran to close the nuclear facilities it has kept secret for years, then lifting sanctions with Iran withdrawing support of terrorism worldwide.

The current proposal worked out by Kerry would set a date for sanctions to be lifted prior to Iran taking substantial steps to end its ongoing aggression in the region and its stated purpose of destroying Israel.

Even as the U.S. and Iran publicly contest the content of the so-called “framework” and look to continued talks ahead of a June deadline, the Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, supports the popular sentiment expressed in the streets of Tehran, “Death to America.

Military chief, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, maintained that whatever diplomatic agreement is reached, Iran’s right to “erase Israel off the map is non-negotiable” and this week, the U.S. Navy moved warships off Yemen to prevent Iran from selling weapons to Houthi rebels in that dangerously destabilized country.

Netanyahu said in the statement that the “framework” contains “dangerous concessions and provides Iran – the foremost sponsor of global terrorism – to have an easy path to nuclear weapons, which will threaten the entire world.”

The prime minister’s statement focused squarely on limiting or at least delaying the acquisition of nuclear arms by an avowed supporter of terrorism while, at the same time, the U.S. president reverted to the use of debate team tactics to deflect attention from what is generally seen to be a mass of concessions bordering on appeasement.


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