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Israeli Opposition Leader Herzog Traveling to U.S. to Lobby Against Nuke Deal

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog plans to travel to the United States in the coming days to voice his concerns regarding the nuclear deal crafted by the P5+1 nations and Iran, The Jerusalem Post reported today.

Amid news of the nuclear deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) announced Tuesday that he will be leaving for the US in the coming days to “demand a dramatic package of security measures for Israel.” …

“With regard to security, I am more extreme than Netanyahu,” Herzog remarked. “In light of the situation, we must do everything within our power to improve our security,” he said.

Herzog said that he had been in talks with AIPAC and other bodies in the US and explained that he intends to fly there as soon.

The Times of Israel reported that Herzog also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the deal.

“I had a meeting yesterday where I learned about the deal and I think it is bad for Israel. [Netanyahu and myself] will certainly cooperate when it comes to the security of Israel. As an Israeli patriot, this deal is dangerous,” Herzog told Israeli news site Walla. …

He told the prime minister he shared the view that the agreement was a bad deal and added that he would do everything for the security of the State of Israel under the new circumstances, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu told Herzog that it was highly important that the opposition and coalition were in lockstep, presenting a united front, regarding the dangers to Israel posed by the agreement.

Herzog maintained that he had his disagreements with the prime minister, but that on the matter of the nuclear deal “he shared the view that the agreement was a bad deal.” He further mentioned that the biggest immediate danger facing Israel was the sanctions relief that would “immediately give Iran a lot of money and resources, which will reach our enemies at our borders.”

During the election campaign earlier this year, Herzog wrote, “on the Iranian nuclear threat, Israelis are one.” In the wake of the Lausanne talks, Herzog called on the United States “to roll back Iran’s nuclear program and prevent it from getting nuclear weapons,” joining politicians across the Israeli political spectrum in criticizing the emerging deal. Shortly afterwards, in a position paper he co-wrote with Tzipi Livni, Herzog asserted, “that removal of sanctions will come only gradually and on the condition that Iran proves over time that it is rolling back its nuclear program, allowing intrusive inspection of its facilities, eliminating all of its stockpile of enriched uranium and not using its old centrifuges to enrich uranium or activating new centrifuges.”

[Photo: Brookings Institutions / YouTube ]