Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida reported Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama has been refusing to take phone calls from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because of the tension between the two countries over how to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.
The Prime Minister’s Office issued a flat denial, saying, “The report in Al Jarida is wrong.”
The White House also denied the reports.
Al Jarida, which has previously reported information that was later verified about a leak investigation taking place in Netanyahu’s bureau, says that on Friday, Obama refused more than once to speak to Netanyahu on the telephone and had U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry take the call instead. The paper cited a source it says is familiar with the issue.
According to the report, which was written by a reporter in Jerusalem, U.S. Jewish leaders are trying to get the White House to decrease the tension and snag Netanyahu an invitation to meet with Obama in Washington.
The Kuwaiti paper’s exclusive reports on what’s going on behind the scenes of the Prime Minister’s Office have raised the question of whether Netanyahu’s bureau is intentionally using the paper to release information to which it doesn’t want to be directly linked.