(Washington, D.C.) — Throughout the next several days, I’ll be Tweeting and blogging about the latest developments. Please check back regularly for updates and analysis.
Also, please pray that the Lord would give great wisdom to Prime Minister Netanyahu and his senior advisors, that they would be like “the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32)
UPDATES (all times eastern, unless otherwise noted)
- Full text of Obama and Netanyahu remarks — President vows to ‘be in close consultation’ with Israel during talks with Iran; PM: Test ‘is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program’ (via Times of Israel)
- News coverage of Netanyahu meeting at the White House begins to pop up:
- “The two leaders, who spoke to the media after over an hour of talks, gave the impression of being at ease with each other and closely coordinated. They shook hands more than once; Obama patted Netanyahu on the arm at times; and the Israeli prime minister smiled warmly at the president,” noted an Israeli reporter. “Plainly, Netanyahu did not want to be perceived as an intransigent leader blocking any chance of a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear standoff. Plainly, too, he was gratified to hear Obama stress that the option of military intervention to thwart Iran remains on the table — something the US president did not cite in a specific Iranian context during his speech at the UN General Assembly last week.”
- Israel’s Netanyahu warns Obama not to be fooled by Iran’s overtures (Washington Post)
- Netanyahu urges US to keep Iran sanctions in place (AP)
- Obama assures Netanyahu US will be ‘clear-eyed’ in talks to thwart Iran bomb (Times of Israel)
- Netanyahu urges Obama to keep up sanctions on Iran in light of new détente (Jerusalem Post)
- The White House just released a photo of a firm handshake between President Obama and PM Netanyahu.
- So far, the optics of the Obama/Netanyahu meeting in the Oval Office look friendly.
- But what’s being said behind closed doors?
- Has Netanyahu come with new intelligence to share with the President?
- Does the PM believe Iran has reached or crossed the “red line”?
- How close is the PM to making a decision on military strikes?
- What new developments may the President be sharing with the PM?
- Does the President have a plan and a timetable for diplomatic talks with Iran?
- Still waiting for details….developing.
- Working lunch at White House set to begin — Netanyahu dining with President Obama, VP Biden, SecState John Kerry, Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror, and Israeli Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan, reports Barak Ravid. “Netanyahu will then have another separate meeting with Biden before a trip to the State Department for a meeting with Kerry. The prime minister’s trip to Washington will end with a special event to commemorate the end of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s term, to be held on Capitol Hill with over 100 congressmen and senators in attendance.”
First news flashes emerging from Oval Office meeting coming from an Israeli correspondent traveling with the Prime Minister….Barak Ravid, the diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, reports: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday evening, just days after the historic phone call between Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rohani. Obama will attempt to utilize the meeting and the press conference afterward to assuage both Netanyahu’s concerns over the ongoing thaw in relations between the U.S. and Iran.”….Live blog by Haaretz (noted in Israeli local time):
- 7:52 P.M.: Netanyahu: I remain committed to peace talks with the Palestinians.
- 7:51 P.M.: Netanyahu: Iran is committed to Israel’s destruction, it must be forced to fully dismantle its nuclear program.
- 7:49: P.M.: Netanyahu: We say in Hebrew the bottom line is important – and the bottom line is that Iran does not get nuclear weapons. Netanyahu also called for strengthening of sanctions and other pressure on Iran.
- 7:47 P.M.: Obama: Because of the sanctions, Iran is ready to talk and we have to test their willingness in good faith. We won’t take any options off the table including military action to make sure Iran doesn’t get nuclear weapons.
- 7:44 P.M.: Obama: We agreed it is paramount that Iran doesn’t achieve nuclear weapons.
- 7:43 P.M.: Obama: We continue to have concerns about Egypt but remain committed to preserve Camp David accords.
- 7:43 P.M.: Obama: We are pleased we have the possibility to get the chemical weapons out of Syria. We share the need to verify that chemical weapons are removed from Syria.
- The President and PM have concluded their morning meeting. They are now making statements to the press in the Oval Office.
- Media told no questions will be taken.
- Will post details as they become available…..developing.
- Netanyahu to extend trip in U.S. an extra day
- Here’s the latest on the schedule (from the Times of Israel):
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just landed in Washington.
- He will meet with US President Barack Obama, after which he will have lunch with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden before heading to Foggy Bottom for a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry.
- Netanyahu and Obama are expected to make a statement after their meeting, at about noon, but reporters will not be given the chance to ask questions.
- Tonight, the prime minister will go back to New York for his speech tomorrow at the United Nations General Assembly, the last by a world leader at the session.
- UPDATE: Netanyahu has “extended his trip an extra day to conduct interviews with the American press, a possible sign that he is trying to counter Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s charm offensive with one of his own.”
- New CNN poll finds 75% of Americans support direct negotiations with Iran — “Large majorities in all major demographic categories favor negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program, including 87% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans. This is nothing new for the U.S. public — in 2009, virtually the same number of Americans said they favored negotiations with Iran,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
- Question: How will US government on the verge of a shutdown affect the Netanyahu visit?
- A positive development — CBN reports that President Obama called for the release of imprisoned Iranian evangelical Pastor Saeed during the President’s phone call with Rouhani
- Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold lays out “the holes in Rouhani’s charm offensive” — specific examples of where Iran’s moderate rhetoric has no correlation with the reality of its aggressive and illegal actions
- Middle East think tank: “In his address to the U.N. General Assembly (September 24, 2013), U.S. President Barack Obama stated: “The Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons.” In fact, such a fatwa was never issued by Supreme Leader Khamenei and does not exist; neither the Iranian regime nor anybody else can present it. The deception regarding ‘Khamenei’s fatwa’ has been promoted by the Iranian regime and its spokesmen for several years. Each time it was mentioned, the ‘fatwa’ was given a different year of issue – for example, 2005, 2007, or 2012 – but the text of the ‘fatwa’ was never presented.
- Release Of Compilation Of Newest Fatwas By Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei – Without Alleged Fatwa About Nuclear Bomb
- Iran considers resuming direct flights to U.S.
Update: 10:00pm Sunday — Here’s a snapshot of what’s ahead.
- On Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu, his wife Sara, and his senior advisors, arrived in the United States — VIDEO of PM’s arrival, motorcade into NYC.
- On Sunday, the PM will meet with the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, and John Baird, the Foreign Minister of Canada.
- On Monday, the PM will meet with President Obama.
- Later on Monday, the PM will also meet with Vice President Biden at the White House.
- The focus of these talks will be the Iran nuclear threat, the Rouhani charm offensive, the Syrian crisis, and the next steps in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
- Monday will mark the last day in office for Michael Oren as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.
- On Tuesday, Netanyahu will be the final speaker of the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City.
- Tuesday will mark the first day in office for Ron Dermer, Israel’s new Ambassador to the U.S.
Update: 9:45pm Sunday — LATEST NEWS COVERAGE:
- ‘Netanyahu to tell Obama Iran has enough uranium for a bomb’ (Times of Israel) — “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when he meets Barack Obama on Monday, will present the US president with an intelligence report asserting that Iran has amassed enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear weapon, according to Britain’s Sunday Times. Netanyahu on Saturday night flew out for a four-day visit to the United States, vowing to expose “the truth” in the wake of Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s recent overtures to the United States.
- Netanyahu to demand end to Iran nuclear program, report says (Ynet) — “A recent poll found that most Israelis agree, with 78% believing Rouhani is not sincere about reaching a deal on the nuclear program.”
- Iranian foreign minister: Israel has an arsenal of 200 nuclear warheads (Jerusalem Post)
- Iranian suspected of spying for Revolutionary Guards arrested in Israel (Israel Hayom) — “In 2012, Mansouri began establishing business infrastructure in Israel that could provide cover for secret intelligence work. When he was arrested, the Israeli authorities recovered many photographs of various Israeli sites, including the American Embassy in Tel Aviv.”
- Egypt’s foreign minister wants nuke-free Middle East (Israel Hayom) — “Egyptian Interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy: Egypt will ratify the U.N. convention on biological and chemical weapons if Israel and Syria sign them as well.”
- To learn more about the work of The Joshua Fund — and/or to invest in the work of blessing Israel and her neighbors — please visit www.joshuafund.net
- NYT best-selling novel, Damascus Countdown
- NYT best-selling novel, The Ezekiel Option
- Sermon on Bible prophecy and the future of Damascus — delivered at Topeka Bible Church (9/8/13)