Netanyahu lobbies against Iran deal in webcast with 10,000 Jewish leaders

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Cherie Cullen.

( Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told North American Jewish leaders on Tuesday that the alternative to the Iran nuclear deal is “still no deal or a better deal—not war,” and that the “claim Israel wants war is not only wrong—it is outrageous.”

“We in Israel don’t want war. We want peace. Because it’s we who are on the front lines. We face Iran’s terror on three borders. Israelis are going to be the ones who pay the highest price if there’s war and if Iran gets the bomb,” Netanyahu said in a webcast organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America. 

About 10,000 people participated in the webcast.

“This is a very dangerous deal, and it threatens all of us,” said Netanyahu. “The more people know about the deal, the more the deal’s supporters try to stifle serious debate. They do so with false claims and efforts to delegitimize criticism.”

The agreement “gives Iran two paths to a bomb: Iran can get to a bomb by keeping the deal or Iran can get to the deal by violating the deal,” he said.

If Iran abides by the deal, explained the prime minister, “in a decade or so the main restrictions on Iran’s vast nuclear program will expire. Breakout time will be practically zero, just a few days. … The deal does make it harder for Iran to produce one or two nuclear weapons in the short term, but it does so at a terrible price—by keeping the deal, Iran can get within a decade or so not just to one bomb, but to many bombs.”

Regarding the prospect of Iran violating the deal, Netanyahu said, “There’s good reason to think Iran will do so. I’ve heard the claim that the deal blocks Iran’s covert path to the bomb. But no matter how good your intelligence is, no one can credibly make such a claim. How can you block what you don’t know?”

Posted on August 5, 2015 .