Israel will ramp up its lobbying of the U.S. Congress to try to hinder the nuclear agreement struck with Iran on Tuesday and minutely monitor the deal for any violations in the hope of getting sanctions reimposed on Tehran.
Responding with alacrity to news that six world powers had agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, Israel’s prime minister and other senior officials condemned the historic pact.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has described Iran as akin to the militants of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said the deal was “a stunning, historic mistake.”
In a statement before convening his inner circle of ministers to discuss the deal, he added: “Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction. We will always defend ourselves.”
Netanyahu later held a phone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama in which he expressed Israel’s concern over the deal, an Israeli government source said.
“It will afford Iran the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons in 10-15 years’ time, whether it keeps to the agreement, and beforehand if it breaks the deal,” the source said.
“Additionally, it will channel billions of dollars to the Iranian terror and war machine which threatens Israel and the entire world.”
Iran does not recognize Israel and has in the past said it should be wiped off the map, leading the small Jewish state, widely assumed to possess the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, to portray Iran as a threat to its existence.
Having spent months trying to stall the deal and expose its perceived frailties, Israeli officials said they would now focus on persuading the U.S. Congress to reject it, while tracking Iran meticulously to catch violations.
In an indication of the broad opposition to the deal in Israel, center-left leader Isaac Herzog, Netanyahu’s chief political rival, said he would soon visit the United States to lobby for more U.S. military support as a defense against Iran.
U.S. lawmakers have 60 days to review the deal, with Obama seeking bipartisan support for an agreement that would be a central plank of his legacy. Even if the review goes against Obama, he could overrule Congress by veto, although that would tarnish the achievement.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر