Netanyahu Tells Obama Iran Deal Will ‘Threaten survival of Israel’, Increase Risk of ‘Horrific war’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted harshly to news of the nuclear framework agreement reached between world powers and Iran on Thursday, telling President Obama that the deal threatened the very existence of the Jewish state.
“A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel,” Netanyahu said in a phone-call with the president, according to a statement released by his office.
“Just two days ago, Iran said that ‘The destruction of Israel is non-negotiable,’ and in these fateful days Iran is accelerating the arming of its terror proxies to attack Israel,” Netanyahu pointed out. “This deal would legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.”
The premier further said that “Such a deal would not block Iran’s path to the bomb. It would pave it” and that “It would increase the risks of nuclear proliferation in the region and the risks of a horrific war.”
“The alternative is standing firm and increasing the pressure on Iran until a better deal is achieved,” he concluded.
The agreement was announced today in Switzerland by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Federica Mogherini who hailed it as a “decisive step” after years of negotiations.
According to the terms of the framework, which are already a matter of dispute, Iran will limit some of its nuclear activity, but will be allowed to keep the majority of its nuclear infrastructure, as well as continue various aspects of its research.
According to a statement released by the White House about the call with Netanyahu, President Obama told the Israeli leader “that progress on the nuclear issue in no way diminishes our concerns with respect to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and threats towards Israel and emphasized that the United States remains steadfast in our commitment to the security of Israel.”
The President further told the Prime Minister “that he has directed his national security team to increase consultations with the new Israeli government about how we can further strengthen our long-term security cooperation with Israel and remain vigilant in countering Iran’s threats.”