The White House took an apparent swipe at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter on April 8, posting a diagram similar to the one used by Netanyahu-–only this time, using it to defend the Iran nuclear deal.
The White House tweet included a cartoonish sketch of a bomb. On the left side were the supposed consequences of not striking a deal, including the resumed production of highly enriched uranium and no limits on that stockpile. On the right side were the supposed benefits of the deal, including “no production or stockpile of highly enriched uranium.”
The sketch appeared almost identical to the one held up by Netanyahu during a 2012 United Nations speech. In that speech, Netanyahu warned of the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran and urged the world to prevent that outcome—holding up the bomb diagram and, dramatically, drawing a red line near the top.
The White House diagram includes the same red line and reads, “Under the framework for an Iran nuclear deal, Iran’s uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon will be shut down.”
In the tweet, the fuse of the bomb is being cut with scissors.
Although the message makes no mention of Israel, it is an unmistakable reference to Netanyahu’s address and just the latest episode in rising tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations over the nuclear talks.
Netanyahu publicly opposed the deal framework announced last week in Switzerland, and even demanded that any final deal include language affirming that Iran recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Obama administration officials have rejected that appeal, saying that the talks will only focus on the nuclear issue. They also say that they would never agree to a deal that threatens Israel’s security.