Netanyahu to Congress: Emerging deal would lead to a nuclear Iran and inevitable war
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 the 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 militant Islam and therefore it will always be an enemy of the US. The fact that Iran and the 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.
Full video of the speech: