Friday, September 14, 2012

Facing criticism, Netanyahu denies interfering in U.S. vote

(Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday denied accusations he was interfering in U.S. politics after coming under fire for fiercely criticizing Washington's handling of Iran.

Relations between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama hit a new low this week after the Israeli leader said nations that failed to set red lines for Iran did not have the "moral right" to prevent Israel from launching a military strike.

He did not mention the United States by name, but the comments were clearly aimed at Obama and his administration.

Coming less than two months before a U.S. presidential election, critics accused Netanyahu of seeking to influence the vote - a charge the Israeli prime minister rejected in interviews published in local media on Friday.

"That's nonsense, because what's guiding me is not the election in the United States but the centrifuges in Iran," he told Israel's Hayom daily newspaper.

"If the Iranians ... had stopped enriching material and preparing a bomb until the U.S. election was over, I would have been able to wait," he added Read More