Netanyahu to Congress: Emerging Deal Would Lead To A Nuclear Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the US Congress on Tuesday, saying that the current deal being formulated by the P5+1 group of world powers and Tehran would inevitably lead to a nuclear Iran and war.
The US has said over the past year that no deal with Iran is better than a bad deal, Netanyahu told the assembled American lawmakers.”Well this is a bad deal. A very bad deal.”
Netanyahu said that the alternative to this deal was not war, as some have posited, “but a better deal.”
“The days of the Jewish people remaining passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over! ” Netanyahu said to rousing applause.
The Israeli leader said that the Western powers’ emerging deal with Iran would all but guarantee that Tehran gets nuclear weapons.
Any deal would include concessions that would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, he said. “Not a single nuclear facility would be demolished,” according to the terms of deal, Netanyahu added.
Their breakout time would be a year by US assessments and even shorter by Israeli assessments, he said.
He said that nuclear inspectors in North Korea had not been able to stop Pyongyang from getting nuclear weapons and they would not be able to stop Tehran either.
Netanyahu said that sanctions against Iran should not be lifted until Tehran stops aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East, stops supporting terrorism around the world and stops threatening to annihilate Israel, “the one and only Jewish state.”
He recalled the story of Purim in which Persians tried to wipe out the Jews, saying that the people were saved by Esther speaking out.
Today, Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is trying to wipe out the Jews, he said. “He spews the worst kind of anti-Semitic hatred. He tweets that Israel must be destroyed.”
He rejected Iran’s claim that it opposes Israel only, and not Jews, by quoting Iranian ally, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah: “‘If all Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the problem of chasing them around the world.'”
“We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest subjugation and terror,” Netanyahu said to applause.
He rejected the notion that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was a moderate, saying that the regime is as extremist as ever.
“The ideology of Iran’s regime is deeply rooted in Islam and therefore will always be an enemy of the US. The fact that Iran and US have a common enemy in Islamic State doesn’t make Iran a friend of America,” he said.
“To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle and lose the war,” he said. “We can’t let that happen.
Netanyahu said he regretted that some saw his visit to Washington as political. “That was never my intention,” the prime minister said.
“I know that no matter what side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel,” Netanyahu said to applause.
He said that the US-Israel alliance must remain above politics. The prime minister said that he had called US President Barack Obama a number of times in Israel’s hour of need, and he had obliged. He thanked the US president for all of the support he had provided Israel.
“This Capitol dome helped build our Iron Dome,” Netanyahu said.
US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, US Secretary of State John Kerry and several dozen Democratic members of Congress sat out the speech. Netanyahu was invited to address Congress by Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and accepted the invitation without coordinating the move with the White House. The White House has called Netanyahu’s move a breach of accepted protocol.
Obama said in an interview to Reuters on Monday that he thinks the timing of Netanyahu’s address to Congress is a mistake.
“As a matter of policy, we think it’s a mistake for the prime minister of any country to come to speak before Congress a few weeks before they’re about to have an election. It makes it look like we are taking sides,” Obama said.
Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice said at the AIPAC conference on Monday that Netanyahu’s stance on Iran is not a viable negotiating position.
“We cannot let a totally unachievable ideal stand in the way of a good deal,” Rice stated.
“I know that some of you will be urging Congress to insist that Iran forgo its domestic enrichment capacity entirely. But as desirable as that would be,” she said to members of the pro-Israel lobby, “it is neither realistic nor achievable. Even our closest international partners in the P5+1 do not support denying Iran the ability ever to pursue peaceful nuclear energy – if that is our goal, our partners will abandon us.”
“Simply put, that is not a viable negotiating position,” she continued. “Nor is it even attainable. The plain fact is, no one can make Iran unlearn the scientific and nuclear expertise it already possesses.”
– From the Jerusalem Post