Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was interviewed by a number of American news shows yesterday explaining why the understandings reached last week about Iran’s nuclear program would constitute a bad deal.
He told Martha Raddatz of ABC’s This Week:
Well, I’m — I’m sure they think it’s a good deal, but we differ. I think this is a — a bad deal. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure. It lifts the sanctions on them fairly quickly and enables them to get billions of dollars into their coffers. They’re not going to use it for schools or hospitals or roads, Martha, they’re going to use it to pump up their terror machine worldwide and their military machine that is busy conquering the Middle East now.
And third, it’s a temporary deal. That is, whatever restrictions are placed on Iran’s nuclear program, they’re removed after a few years and Iran will be free to have a vast arsenal with which to, uh, ultimately produce many nuclear bombs.
I think for the preeminent terrorist state of our time to have a free pass, an easy pass to nuclear weapons endangers Israel, it endangers the region, endangers the world, it endangers everyone listening to me right now.
Furthermore, he added that the deal that leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in place would fuel an arms race in the Middle East that would further destabilize the region.
Look, I think we have a legitimate difference of view. And I think that it’s not only my own concerns. I think that the real concerns in the region, whatever is stated publicly as such, that if Iran is given this free path to the tomb, a deal that doesn’t block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons, but actually paves it, what will happen is that this will spark a nuclear arms race among the Sunni countries in the Middle East. And that would have — a nuclear-armed Middle East, I think that’s a global danger. I think it’s very, very bad.
Similarly he told Chuck Todd of NBC, that for a deal to be successful, Iran needs to change its behavior:
Chuck, I’m the only Israeli left standing who never talks about our military options. But I will say this, I prefer a diplomatic solution. You know why? Because for any military option, the country that will pay the biggest price is always Israel. So we want a diplomatic solution, but a good one. One that rolls back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and one that ties the final lifting of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program with a change of Iran’s behavior.
Namely that they stop their aggression in the region, that they stop their worldwide terrorism, and that they stop calling for and working for the annihilation of Israel. These are the requirements that there’s still time to put in place. And I’ll use what means I have, including this program, to try to persuade people to go for this deal, which is the only one that will give us peace and security.
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