WASHINGTON – The deal President Obama is about to offer “doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves its path to the bomb,” declared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to one of many thunderous standing ovations Tuesday morning before a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
He delivered a forceful argument lasting 40 minutes against the agreement the Obama administration is striking with Iran regarding its nuclear program, insisting it has two major flaws:
- It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear program; and
- It would lift all restrictions on Iran in about a decade.
The prime minster warned the deal Obama is prepared to offer is so weak it would virtually guarantee that Iran acquires nuclear weapons, and, “We don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope Iran will change for the better.”
Saying no deal was better than a bad deal, Netanyahu implored the Obama administration to “insist restrictions not be lifted on Iran until it quits its aggression in the region and in the world.”
And, to yet another roaring standing ovation, the Israeli leader thundered, “If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.”
Netanyahu said any deal must do three things:
- Stop Iran’s aggression against neighbors in the Mideast;
- Stop Iran’s support of terrorism around the world; and
- Stop Iran from “threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.”
Netanyahu made clear Israel would act alone, if necessary, to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
Fox News political commentator Charles Krauthammer observed that the key to the speech was Netanyahu had just demonstrated Israel would have the support of Congress it it were to act alone, even if it did not have the support of the president.
Netanyahu said the greatest danger facing the world is “the marriage of militant Islam and nuclear weapons.”
“We can’t let that happen,” he added, to another loud standing ovation.
He received yet another when he declared, “We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”
Making his case to Congress, the American people and the world, Netanyhu said the U.S. must insist on a better deal and keep up the pressure on a vulnerable Iran, which is especially vulnerable with the recent drop in oil prices.
“If they walk away they will be back, as often happens in a Persian bazaar, because they need the deal much more than you do,” he said.
“We’ve been told no deal is worse than a bad deal. Well friends, this is a bad deal, a very bad deal. We are better off without it.”
He noted “some” had said the only alternative to the deal would be war. That was not true, Netanyahu said, insisting “the alternative to this deal is a much better deal.”
“We don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope Iran will change for the better. We can insist restrictions on Iran until it quits its aggression in the region and in the world.”
Poignantly, the Israeli prime minster said before a global audience, “The days when the Jewish people remain placid in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.”
Praising the presence in the audience of concentration camp survivor, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Nazi-hunter Elie Wiesel, the prime minister told him, “Your life and work gives meaning to the words, ‘Never again.'”
Netanyahu observed the only difference between Iran and ISIS is the latter is armed with “butcher knives and Youtube,” whereas the former sought to obtain nuclear weapons.
And, as for Iran backing Iraq in the battle against ISIS, Americans should be aware, because in this case, “the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.”
Netanyahu pointed out the key elements of deal are now a matter of public record which one didn’t need spies to obtain because, “You can Google it.”
Ruing that Iran could get the bomb by agreeing to the deal because all sanctions would expire after a decade, Netanyahu noted that time span is “a blink of the eye in the eye of a nation and its children.”
Iran seeks 190,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium, which could give it a vast nuclear arsenal in a matter of weeks, Netanyahu said, once it makes a decision to do that.
Flabbergasted, the prime minister noted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has even acknowledged that could happen once the deal expires.
“Think about that, the world’s leading sponsor of terror could have a full arsenal of nuclear weapons with full international complicity.”
Netanyahu also insisted that provisions denying Iran intercontinental ballistic missile technology capabilities be part of any deal.
Calling Iran a country that “hangs gays, persecutes journalists and kills Christians,” Netanyahu warned lawmakers “this regime will always be an enemy of America.”
“Its battle with ISIS doesn’t make it a friend of America,” because the two are “only competing for the crown as most militant Islamic state. They just disagree on who will be the ruler of the Islamic empire.”
The prime minister also warned, “Iran is not a Jewish problem any more than the Nazis were. Iran regime poses a great threat not just to Israel, but the entire world.”
In a barb directed at the Obama administration, Netanyahu observed, “At a time when many hope Iran will join the community of nations, it is gobbling up those nations.”
He incredulously noted that even while negotiations were under way, one week ago, Iran had carried out a mock attack on a U.S. aircraft carrier.
Netanyahu addressed the joint session over the strenuous objection of the Obama administration, which claimed it was inappropriate for a foreign leader to give such a speech so close to an election and not to have notified the White House before accepting the invitation from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Aides to the Israeli prime minister said the speech actually could hurt his re-election chances and that his only purpose in making the address was to warn the world of the grave danger of making a weak deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
Netanyahu came to Congress to urge it to provide a check and balance to the administration’s eagerness to make what he believes would be a fatally flawed agreement with the Islamic regime. He pointed to leaks indicating White House negotiators do not intend to stop Iran from processing enhanced uranium, a key ingredient in atomic weapons.
Nearly 60 congressional Democrats boycotted the speech to show solidarity with the White House, which did not send a single representative to hear the Israeli prime minister speak. But demand to see the speech in person was sky-high on Capitol Hill.
Boehner gave Netanyahu a bust of Winston Churchill in recognition of the fact the Israeli prime minister and the former prime minister of Britain are the only foreign leaders who have addressed Congress three times.
Many have likened Netanyahu’s warning about the danger posed by Iran to Churchill’s warnings of the dangers of Nazi Germany that went unheeded until Word War II broke out.
Netanyahu said a nuclear Iran poses a threat to the world’s security and would pose an immediate, enormous and unacceptable threat to Israel’s very survival.
He insisted any deal strip Iran of its ability to process enhanced uranium, but Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, said earlier this week that was “not realistic.”
Netanyahu said it was unrealistic to expect any deal that allows Iran to process uranium to not lead to the country’s development of nuclear weapons.
Iran insists its nuclear program is meant only for peaceful purposes, but numerous nations, such as Canada and Iceland, run nuclear power plants without developing their own enriched uranium.
The only possible reason, Netanyahu insisted, for Iran to process uranium would be to build nuclear weapons. He is adamant that any treaty not allow Iran to have the centrifuges to process uranium.
For reasons known only to themselves, members of the Obama administration are not trying to prevent Iran from having centrifuges but only limiting the number of centrifuges it may have. And only for 10 years.
Iranian leaders have repeatedly, publicly and unabashedly called for the destruction of Israel.
As WND recently reported, a Kuwaiti newspaper cited by the Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an claimed Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
In the wake of Obama’s purported threat, Netanyahu was said to be forced to abort the strike on Iran.
Israel National News published an account of the report from Al-Jarida. It said the Netanyahu government decided to attack Iran “some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back.”
The report claimed an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the Obama administration disclosed details of the attack plan to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and that Obama “then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.”
The Kuwaiti paper quoted “well-placed” sources saying Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon and then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman chose to hit Iran’s nuclear facilities after discussions with top security commanders.
According to the report, Netanyahu and his commanders “agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army’s chief of staff, Benny Gantz, to prepare a qualitative operation against Iran’s nuclear program.
“In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to thwart a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement is, allegedly, a threat to Israel’s security.”
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