Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | Israel | benjamin netanyahu | israel | address | congress

Israel's Netanyahu: I'm Coming to US to Stop Iran Nuke Deal

By    |   Friday, 27 Feb 2015 09:57 PM

Days before a politically fraught speech before Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his trip to the nation's capital is a bid to stop a U.S.-brokered nuclear deal with Iran.

In his most direct remarks about a March 3 speech that's riled the White House, some Democratic lawmakers and Jewish groups, Netanyahu told Kol Barama, a conservative Jewish radio station, he's "going to the [United States] to try to stop the emerging agreement that is a danger to the State of Israel," the Times of Israel reports.

"It is my duty as Israeli prime minister, and as one who looks out for the future of the Jewish people, to do everything possible to convince the sole body [Congress] capable of perhaps preventing such a deal."

According to the newspaper, Netanyahu’s visit puts the Jewish state on a crash coarse with the Obama administration as it negotiates with Iran over its nuclear program – with the prime minister intending to argue that rather than easing sanctions against Iran, the world should be increasing pressure.

Acknowledging the criticism in the United States, Netanyahu said he "respected and appreciated the strategic ties between Israel and the [United States."

But he said Israel's future trumps that.

"When the issue at hand is our very existence, what is expected of a prime minister? Should he bow down and accept the danger for the sake of a relationship?" he asked.

A nuclear Iran is much more dangerous to Israel than disagreements with the United States, he added.

Netanyahu said it was "legitimate" for President Barack Obama to "see things differently" on Iran, but remains convinced most Americans feel as he does about a deal with Iran, the newspaper reports.

A new Gallup poll supports his view; the survey, released Friday, shows more than eight in 10 Americans view Iran unfavorably – a view that has basically remain unchanged for 26 years.

Netanyahu's also been criticized by both National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry as well as Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League.

Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden will not attend Netanyahu’s speech, citing overseas travels during his trip. Obama has said he won't meet with the Israeli leader during his visit.

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Days before a politically fraught speech before Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his trip to the nation's capital is a bid to stop a U.S.-brokered nuclear deal with Iran.
benjamin netanyahu, israel, address, congress, iran, nuclear, deal, barack obama
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2015-57-27
Friday, 27 Feb 2015 09:57 PM
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