Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday condemned the nuclear agreement taking shape in Vienna as dangerous, not only to Israel but also to the United States.

In a video statement, the former Israeli premiere said the U.S. administration’s “desperate rush” to sign a “flawed nuclear agreement” with Tehran was “not only absurd” but ” downright dangerous.”

“Yesterday Iran fired missiles in the vicinity of the American consulate in Iraq, and the U.S. continues to charge ahead, along with the other powers, to sign a nuclear agreement that will give the ayatollahs a nuclear arsenal,” said Netanyahu.

On Sunday, Iran launched a dozen ballistic missiles at targets in Erbil in northern Iraq, according to Reuters. The report cited Kurdish officials as saying the missiles had struck near a new U.S. consulate building. There were no reports of American casualties, with Kurdish authorities reporting that only one civilian was hurt in the attack.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed responsibility for the strike, which it said had targeted an Israeli “center of conspiracy” in the Kurdish city, according to the Tehran Times.

The new nuclear agreement, Netanyahu said on Monday, would give the ayatollahs “hundreds of billions of dollars” with which to carry out more such attacks.

“This agreement is even worse than its predecessor [the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action],” said Netanyahu. “Because in three years’ time, under this agreement, Iran will be a threshold nuclear state. It will have enough enriched uranium to create dozens and dozens of nuclear bombs, and it will have the ICBMs to deliver them to any place in the United States. That is… unbelievable. It’s not merely unacceptable. It endangers not only my country, Israel, but your country, the United States, and the entire world.”

The world must not allow an “aggressive, rogue terrorist regime” such as Iran to possess nuclear weapons, said the former premier, adding, “Have we learned nothing?”

Despite reports that a final text of a new nuclear agreement was already “on the table,” the talks in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations were suddenly “paused” on March 11, apparently due to a demand by Russia for guarantees that sanctions due to its invasion of Ukraine would not affect its dealings with Tehran.

“The real issue for this pause here is what Russia has thrown on the table, which is essentially a grenade in the middle of the negotiations,” said Henry Rome, deputy head of research at the Eurasia Group, according to AP.


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