On Tuesday, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned U.S. Congress that a deal the Obama administration is discussing with Iran over the country’s nuclear program could “pave” its “path to the bomb.” His controversial speech was made at the invitation of U.S. House speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) and without presidential approval.
Netanyahu elaborated: “This deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”
“On the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which would make it far more dangerous … the prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives,” he told reporters during an appearance with new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
“We don’t yet have a deal,” Obama noted of the ongoing negotiations with Iran, which Netanyahu vehemently opposes. “It may be that Iran cannot say yes to a good deal. I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal than a bad deal. But if we are successful negotiating, then in fact this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Nothing else comes close.”
Forty-one Democrats and one Independent in Congress said they would be skipping the speech, according to Politicus USA. Bernie Sanders (I, Vermont) broke down why the whole affair was disrespectful to POTUS, as quoted by the news outlet:
“Mr. Netanyahu has every right in the world to disagree with President Obama or any of us about our relationship and we proceed with Iran in terms of how we prevent them from getting nuclear weapons. He has every right, but he doesn’t have the right in my view to inject himself into an American political discussion by being the speaker before a joint session of Congress to criticize the President Of The United States. There are all kinds of avenues open to him to speak to members of Congress, and that’s fine. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a foreign leader coming before Congress to rip apart the President Of The United States.”
The Israeli prime minister is less than two weeks away from a tough re-election fight, so add him to the list of people engaging in self-serving political theater in this matter.
Read the entire transcript of his speech here, at the Washington Post.
SOURCE: NBC News