Monday, April 16, 2012

Report: Obama reacted "angrily" to Netanyahu's assertion that Iran was the winner in this weekend's nuclear talks

He always gets angry when the truth comes out.
(INN) US President Barack Obama on Monday rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's charge that Iran was given a "freebie" on its nuclear program.

Netanyahu's complaint Sunday came one day after key world powers met with Iran and announced that the next meeting would take place in late May.

"My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie," Netanyahu said. "It has got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition."

Obama responded Monday saying, "Now, the clock is ticking. And I've been very clear to Iran and to our negotiating partners that we're not going to have these talks just drag out in a stalling process."

"But so far, at least, we haven't given away anything - other than the opportunity for us to negotiate and see if Iran comes to the table in good faith," he said.

"And the notion that somehow we've given something away or a 'freebie' would indicate that Iran has gotten something. In fact, they've got some of the toughest sanctions that they're going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don't take advantage of these talks. I hope they do."

Officials in Jerusalem, however, say the only thing Iran requires to develop a nuclear weapon - and gain substantial strategic leverage for future talks – is time.

This weekend's talks with Iran and the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – ended with no tangible results other than the 23 May date for more talks in Baghdad.

Netanyahu said Iran should "take immediate steps to stop all enrichment, take out all enrichment material and dismantle the nuclear facility in Qom" adding the Islamic Republic "must not have the opportunity to develop atomic bombs."