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December 11, 2016 11:45 am

Netanyahu: I Stood Up Against Iran Deal Because It Endangers Israel, Not Due to Lack of ‘Personal Chemistry’ With Obama

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with CBS's Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes." Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with CBS’s Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes.” Photo: Screenshot.

The chilly ties between the leaders of the US and Israeli governments did not drive the Jewish state’s fierce opposition to the nuclear deal reached last year between Iran and six world powers, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in remarks to be aired on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program on Sunday.

“Yes, we had differences of opinion — I had differences of opinion with President [Barack] Obama, most well known, of course, is Iran,” Netanyahu told CBS’s Lesley Stahl. “Suppose we had the greatest of personal chemistry. You think I wouldn’t stand up against the Iran deal if I thought, as I did, that it endangers the existence of Israel? Of course I would.”

Referring to President-elect Donald Trump, Netanyahu said, “I know him very well. And I think his attitude, his support for Israel is very clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people and about Jewish people. There’s no question about that.”

As reported in The Algemeiner, a delegation of Israeli officials traveled to the US this week and met with members of Trump’s transition team.

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The purpose of the meeting, according to the Hebrew news outlets nrg and Makor Rishon, was to start the process of sharing views and setting expectations for the years ahead.

Last Sunday, as reported by The Algemeiner, Netanyahu reiterated his criticism of the Iran nuclear agreement, telling the Saban Forum, “I look forward to speaking to [Trump] about what to do about this bad deal.”

In a pre-election interview with The Algemeiner last month, senior Trump adviser David Friedman said the incoming administration would “reengage with the world powers in a way that seeks to reintroduce leverage on Iran.”

In mid-November, Netanyahu told the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly that Israel would work with the Trump administration to advance the “twin interests of peace and security.”

Watch an excerpt from the “60 Minutes” interview below:


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