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ABC Skips Netanyahu's Rebuke of Obama Admin Over Iran

Media Research CenterUniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News on Tuesday failed to mention Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's criticism of the Obama administration for not being aggressive in preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons. The CBS Evening News included a plug in its opening teaser and then devoted a full report to the story.

Anchor Scott Pelley previewed: "David Martin on Israel scolding the U.S. for not being tougher with Iran." Then came a clip of Netanyahu: "If Iran knows that there's no deadline, what will it do?"

A bit later, after Pelley introduced the report recounting that "Today Israel's prime minister accused the U.S. of dragging its feet in the face of an imminent threat," correspondent David Martin began:

With intelligence reports Iran has been working on computer simulations of nuclear explosions, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly scolded the Obama administration for refusing to lay down a red line which would trigger a military strike.

After a clip of Netanyahu complaining that the Obama administration is refusing to set "red lines" for Iran, Martin explained:

Netanyahu seemed to be reacting to remarks by Secretary of State Clinton, who told a radio interviewer two days ago there is still time to head off Iran's nuclear program.

After an audio clip of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declaring that "We're not setting deadlines," but instead are watching "what they do," Martin continued:

According to one report from a European intelligence agency, Iran recently bought computer codes for simulating nuclear explosions from North Korea. That doesn't mean Iran has decided to build a weapon, but it does mean it is developing the capability to build a weapon. And Netanyahu seems fed up with American patience.

After another clip of Natanyahu, the CBS correspondent then countered that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had "insisted the U.S. has a very clear red line," before showing a clip of Panetta, Martin concluded:

Panetta also said U.S. intelligence would likely know when that decision was made. After that, the U.S. military would have about a year in which to mount a strike that could stop Iran from actually building a weapon.

On the NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams read a brief item on the subject, but he also informed viewers that President Obama "is not going to meet with Netanyahu when he comes to address the U.N. here in New York later this month."

Below are the complete transcripts of the relevant stories from the CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News from Tuesday, September 11:

# From the CBS Evening News:

SCOTT PELLEY, IN OPENING TEASER: David Martin on Israel scolding the U.S. for not being tougher with Iran.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: If Iran knows that there's no deadline, what will it do?

(...)

SCOTT PELLEY: Whoever wins the presidential election eight weeks from today, will have to deal with Iran's nuclear program. Today Israel's prime minister accused the U.S. of dragging its feet in the face of an imminent threat. Here's David Martin.

DAVID MARTIN: With intelligence reports Iran has been working on computer simulations of nuclear explosions, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly scolded the Obama administration for refusing to lay down a red line which would trigger a military strike.

NETANYAHU: If Iran knows that there's no red line, if Iran knows that there's no deadline, what will it do? Exactly what it's doing. It's continuing without any interference towards obtaining nuclear weapons capability and from their nuclear bombs.

MARTIN: Netanyahu seemed to be reacting to remarks by Secretary of State Clinton, who told a radio interviewer two days ago there is still time to head off Iran's nuclear program.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We're not setting deadlines. We're, you know, we're, you know, watching very carefully about, you know, what they do because it's always been more about their actions than their words.

MARTIN: According to one report from a European intelligence agency, Iran recently bought computer codes for simulating nuclear explosions from North Korea. That doesn't mean Iran has decided to build a weapon, but it does mean it is developing the capability to build a weapon. And Netanyahu seems fed up with American patience.

NETANYAHU: The world tells Israel, "Wait, there's still time." And I say, "Wait for what? Wait until when?" Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.

MARTIN: But, in an interview with CBS This Morning's Norah O'Donnell, Defense Secretary Panetta insisted the U.S. has a very clear red line.

LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: When they make the decision to go ahead and build a nuclear weapon, that for us is a red line.

MARTIN: Panetta also said U.S. intelligence would likely know when that decision was made. After that, the U.S. military would have about a year in which to mount a strike that could stop Iran from actually building a weapon.

# From the NBC Nightly News:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: And there's a new flareup between the U.S. and Israel over Iran. What seems to have set this off, recent remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She said the U.S. would not set deadlines or name so-called red line limits that can't be crossed concerning Iran's nuclear activities. Netanyahu of Israel fired back today, saying, "Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel."

And we learned today the President is not going to meet with Netanyahu when he comes to address the U.N. here in New York later this month.

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center