Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lead a media and diplomatic blitz in Washington and New York this week, cautioning world leaders not to fall for Iran's diplomatic overtures masking the development of their nuclear weapons program.
Before leaving for Washington, Netanyahu vowed to "tell the truth" during his speech at the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, adding that he "will represent the citizens of Israel, our national interests, our rights as a nation, our determination to defend ourselves and our hope for peace."
"In the face of the [Iranian] sweet-talk and the smiles offensive, we must speak out about the facts and tell the truth," he said.
Netanyahu will be the final world leader to speak at the General Assembly session. After last year's address, when he used charts to illustrate Israel's "red line" concerning Iranian nuclear enrichment, the prime minister is expected to present a fact-laden description of Tehran's nuclear progress.
In the wake of heavy positive media coverage of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to the U.N. last week, the New York Times quoted an unnamed Israeli official who said, "Netanyahu understands that there is a lot of euphoria...[He] knows that people in the international community will want to believe. I think you'll see in his remarks a lot of facts, a lot of facts that no one denies."
Before he travels to New York, Netanyahu has scheduled Washington meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry in addition to President Obama.
Netanyahu has widespread support for his position across the political spectrum in Israel. The Israeli daily Israel Hayom quotes Zehava Gal-On, head of the left-wing Meretz Party, who said, "You can't be naive when it comes to Iran's intentions. Like Netanyahu, I also don't believe Rouhani when he says the nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes."