Netanyahu to Obama: Remember that Israel is an ally

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday acknowledged a White House tweet slamming him last week, suggesting President Obama "remember" Israel as an ally.


Days after Netanyahu addressed a packed session of Congress last week, the White House tweeted the link to an article with an "interesting take" from columnist Fareed Zakaria "on why PM Netanyahu's predictions on #Iran have been wrong for 25 years."

"You know, the reason that I have been warning for 25 years is because Iran has been trying to get the bomb," Netanyahu said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"If we had let our guard down then Iran would have had the weapon. If we let our guard down now, it will have the weapon," he said.

"As far as tweets, if I had to choose, I would retweet something that relates to Iran and that's the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's recent tweet where he cites ... ways and reasons Israel should be destroyed," Netanyahu said.

"Even in these times of sometimes heated disagreement, I think it's useful to remember who your ally is and who your enemy is," he added.

Obama vowed in another interview aired shortly before Netanyahu on CBS that his administration would "absolutely" walk away from negotiations if it does not get enough Iranian concessions, adding he sensed some "urgency" in securing a deal before the preliminary March 24 deadline.

"If we cannot verify that they are not going to obtain a nuclear weapon, that there's a breakout period so that even if they cheated we would be able to have enough time to take action, if we don't have that kind of deal, then we're not going to take it," Obama said.

Netanyahu pushed back on Obama's remarks, suggesting the U.S. push to "contract Iran's nuclear program so there's less to inspect."

"I do not trust inspections of totalitarian regimes," Netanyahu said, said it hasn't worked with North Korea or Iran previously, which simultaneously built two underground bunkers while under inspection.

"I respect President Obama. I expressed appreciation in my speech in Congress as I do now for the many things he does for Israel. We share the same goal of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but we disagree on how to do it," Netanyahu said earlier in the interview.

Netanyahu said it's not a matter of "trust" with Obama. "It's a matter of survival, really."