Netanyahu warns US against Iran N-deal

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Mar 03, 2015 23:34 IST

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday urged the US to not pursue the nuclear deal it is currently negotiating with Iran arguing it “is a bad deal, a very bad deal”.

The deal will not prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but “will guarantee Iran gets them, lots of them”, the Israeli leader told US lawmakers at a joint session of congress.

Netanyahu’s address had been preceded by much controversy, which we acknowledged, as it was seen as an attempt by him to exploit DC’s partisan politics to oppose the deal.

The invitation to address US congress was sent to him Speaker John Boehnor without checking with the White House, which, in annoyance, has refused to entertain the Israeli prime minister.

The prime minister, who has had a testy relationship with Obama, started by acknowledging many things the US president has done to help Israel. And he named a few.

But the nuclear deal, which the US is pursuing as a foreign policy legacy of the president, was not one of them, Netanyahu argued without naming Obama.

He appealed to “world leaders” instead, P5+1 countries — US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany — who are spearheading the negotiations, faced with a March-end deadline.

He urged them drop the deal saying, it is “a bad deal, a very bad deal, we are better off without it”.

In an impassioned speech frequently interrupted by applause, and cheering, the prime minister argued that the dead suffered from two major drawbacks.

One, it did not ensure that Iran’s nuclear infrastructure was complete demolished, leaving it with the means to weaponize the programme after deal expired in 10 years.

Two, restriction on its programs will be monitored by international inspector who can only “document violations not stop them”. And he cited North Korea as an example.

He argued for a better deal, which, according to him should keep restrictions on Iran for as long as it doesn’t “stop aggression against neighbours, stop supporting terrorism around the world and stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel the one and only jewish state”.

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