(Daily Mail) – President Barack Obama is due to speak to Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone on Friday – a day after deputing Hillary Clinton to stand in for him by meeting the Israeli premier in New York.
Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary, confirmed that the two leaders would converse as Netanyahu prepared to speak at the United Nations in New York. Obama left the U.N. before he arrived and is spending most of Thursday campaigning in Virginia.
The White House rejected an Israeli request for Netanyahu to meet Obama, either at the U.N. or in Washington – a sign of the icy relationship between the two men.
Netanyahu is expected to deliver an uncompromising address to the U.N. calling on the world to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
The speech, which aides said was aimed as much at the Obama administration as the Israeli public, is expected to spell out in detail the ‘red lines’ that Israel will not allow Iran to cross, according to the Israeli newspaper Maariv. They are expected to speak between noon and 1 p.m.
The Israeli leader has been pressurising the Obama administration to set out its own red lines for Iran as a basis for joint U.S.-Israeli action should Iran cross them.
Netanyahu, a long-time friend and one-time Bain colleague of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, has become a key figure in the U.S. election, in which Jewish voters in states like Florida could be pivotal.
The Israeli premier’s speech comes a day after an address by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran in which he said: ”I do believe the system of empires has reached the end of the road. The world can no longer see an emperor commanding it.’
He then accused the West of nuclear ‘intimidation and claimed Iran is under threat of military action from ‘uncivilised Zionists’ – in a reference to Israel – saying that such threats are designed to force nations into submission.
‘Continued threat by the uncivilised Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality,’ he said.
The speech fell on Yom Kippur, the Jewish sacred day of atonement that is devoted to fasting, prayer and introspection.
Netanyahu issued a statement condemning the speech soon after the fast ended. ‘On the day when we pray to be inscribed in the book of life a platform was given to a dictatorial regime that strives, at every opportunity, to sentence us to death,’ Netanyahu said.
â€˜In my remarks to the UN General Assembly, they will hear my response. History has proven that those who have wanted to wipe us off the map have failed, as the Jewish People have overcome all obstacles,’ Netanyahu concluded.
He will be speaking to the U.N. later today about what Israel perceives as the Iranian threat.
Israel and many in the West suspect that Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, and cite its failure to cooperate fully with nuclear inspectors. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
On Tuesday, had sought to assuage Israeli concerns and put Iran on notice during his U.N. address.
‘Let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited,’ he said.
He warned that ‘the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon’.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s has call for member states to refrain from threatening each other.
‘I also reject both the language of delegitimisation and threats of potential military action by one state against another,’ he said.
‘Any such attacks would be devastating. The shrill war talk of recent weeks has been alarming â€” and should remind us of the need for peaceful solutions and full respect for the U.N. Charter and international law.’