US Speaker John Boehner's invitation to Netanyahu to  speak before the Congress in March has raised eyebrows and several officials in Obama administration have severely criticised the Israeli leader's acceptance of the offer and spurned him by publicly announcing that President Barack Obama will not be meeting him during the trip.
    
Invitations to foreign leaders are normally arranged by the White House. "As the Prime Minister of Israel, it is my duty to make every effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons that will be directed at us. This effort is an international one and I will go to every place where I am invited in order to make Israel's case and to safeguard its future and existence," the Israeli Premier said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.

"In the coming weeks the world powers may reach a framework agreement with Iran that runs the risk of Iran being on the threshold of obtaining nuclear weapons, which would first and foremost endanger the existence of the state of Israel," he said rejecting criticisms in the US and also at home.
    
Arguing that Iran foments conflict in different areas of the region, Netanyahu said that such a threat should not be allowed to grow even more with the acquisition of nuclear weapons.

"This is the same Iran that has taken over Lebanon and Syria and is doing the same now in Yemen and Iraq. This is the same Iran that is preparing an active front against us on the Golan Heights as well as in southern Lebanon," the Israeli leader said.

"This same Iran should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons," he stressed. In background briefings to US media outlets, Obama administration officials were quoted as saying that Netanyahu was "playing politics" at the expense of the US-Israeli strategic relationship.

A local newspaper quoted senior American officials who attacked the Israeli Prime Minister and Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer.

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