Netanyahu defies Obama’s request to ‘take a breather’ from Iran deal criticism

Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/Flash90 via The Times of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently isn’t heeding President Obama’s suggestion to sit down and shut up about the Iranian nuclear deal reached by world leaders last weekend.

During last Sunday’s phone call between Obama and Netanyahu, the president reportedly asked Netanyahu “to take a breather from his clamorous criticism” of the interim agreement reached with Iran, David Ignatius reported for the Washington Post Wednesday.

Netanyahu, though, will not be silenced.

At a Hanukkah candle-lighting celebration at the Western Wall Thursday evening, Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel will act alone, if necessary, to ensure Iran never develops nuclear weapons, and referenced a “popular children’s song for the holiday.”

“We came to drive out the darkness, and the largest darkness that threatens the world today is a nuclear Iran,” Netanyahu said, according to The Times of Israel. “We are bound to do all we can to prevent this darkness. If possible we will do this diplomatically, if not we will act as ‘a light unto the nations’.”

“I believe in speaking the truth, and standing for important principles in order to ensure peace in the world and our security, and of course our peace,” he said.

Obama called Netanyahu on Sunday to discuss the interim deal reached with Iran – a deal the prime minister called a “historic mistake.”

After Netanyahu reportedly “rebuked” Obama over the interim deal, he told Obama that the permanent accord “must bring about one outcome: the dismantling of Iran’s military nuclear capability,” the article said.

To that end, Netanyahu is sending a delegation to the U.S. next week to “discuss the permanent accord with Iran.”

More from The Times of Israel.

Report: Netanyahu ‘rebuked’ Obama in phone call over Iran deal, WH glosses over

Iran accuses White House of lying to public about facts of nuclear deal

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