Photo: Marc Israel Sellem
Prime Minister Netanyahu
Photo: Marc Israel Sellem

Netanyahu says relationship with Obama had no bearing on Iran deal

Prime minister says Washington was planning to normalize ties with Tehran even before he came into office; Israel's security cabinet unanimously rejects deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted on Tuesday evening that his strained relations with US President Barack Obama had no effect on the nuclear agreement signed between world powers and Iran.



"The political claims being made that my personal relationship with President Obama had any bearings on the nuclear agreement - are baseless," Netanyahu said.


"Even before I entered my job as prime minister, there were intentions in the American administration to normalize relations with Iran. After that, the US launched secret negotiations with Iran later became public," he added.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: AFP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: AFP)


The prime minister and the American president spoke on the phone following the deal's signing.


"I spoke with US President Barack Obama and expressed to him Israel's two major concerns after having examined the agreement," he said. 


"1. The agreement allows Iran to develop extensive capabilities which will enable it to arm itself with nuclear weapons, whether that be in 10 or 15 years at the end of the agreement's term, or if Iran violates the agreement before then.


"2. The agreement pumps hundreds of billions of dollars into Iran's terrorist and war machine, a machine that is turned against us and others in the region," Netanyahu went on to say.


The prime minister said Israel's security cabinet discussed the agreement and unanimously voted to reject it.


"Right now we have one mission - to ensure that Iran will not arm itself with nuclear weapons later on," he said, noting that when "faced with such a task, we must not engage in petty politics, false accusations. This is the time to unite and form a united front on a fateful question regarding the future of Israel."


"In any case, we will continue to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against anyone who threatens to destroy us," he concluded.


Tuesday night's statement was the third Netayahu made following the signing of the deal. Earlier, he made a statement in English, stressing that Israel is not bound by the international nuclear agreement with Iran, and that it reserves the right to defend itself.


He stated the world was now a "much more dangerous place" and criticized the agreement as a "stunning historic mistake."


Netanyahu gives statement in English    (צילום: אלי מנדלבאום)

Netanyahu gives statement in English


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Netanyahu asserted that the deal gives Iran every incentive not to change. By not dismantling the nuclear program, the deal will give "an unrepentant" and "far richer" Iranian regime more regional power, the prime minister said.


He said that by removing sanctions, the deal will "reward the terrorist regime in Iran" with hundreds of billions of dollars to support a worldwide terrorism network.


"This cash bonanza will fuel Iran's terrorism worldwide, its aggression in the region and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing," the prime minister noted.


He also said it "repeats the mistakes" of an earlier international agreement with North Korea, in which international inspections failed to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapons capability.


"There too we were assured that inspections and verifications would prevent a rogue regime from developing nuclear weapons. And we all know how that ended," Netanyahu said.


פרסום ראשון: 07.14.15, 21:49
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