'Stunning historical mistake': Netanyahu says Israel is not bound by Iran nuclear deal
“From the initial reports received, it is already possible to say that this agreement is a historic mistake for the world,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded Tuesday when asked about the agreement reached in Vienna.
"This agreement and what it means endanger many countries including, of course, Israel,"Netanyahu said, adding that "Israel is not bound by this agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. As Prime Minister of Israel, I would like to make it clear: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability."
In Vienna, world powers concede more and more to Iran. In Tehran, demonstrators burn American & Israeli flags. pic.twitter.com/4pQRvQmfwL
— בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) July 11, 2015
“Wide-ranging concessions were made in all of the areas which should have prevented Iran from getting the ability to arm itself with a nuclear weapon,” the Israeli Prime Minister stated. “The desire to sign an agreement was stronger than everything else.”
Netanyahu has been campaigning against negotiating with Iran for months, most notably attending a US Congress joint session in March without White House approval to deliver a Tehran-blasting speech before American legislators.
In the last days he intensified his effort online, launching a Farsi-language Twitter account to convince ordinary Iranians that the deal would hurt them. He argued that the Iranian government would be encouraged to suppress the population after it is signed.
The nuclear-related sanctions hurt the Iranian economy, which was denied foreign credits and part of oil revenues due to Western restrictions. The country experienced currency devaluation, shortages of certain goods like medicine and other adverse effects that the Iranian people had to endure.
Israeli is expected to continue its effort to torpedo the deal through lobbying American lawmakers, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely implied.
“The implications of this agreement for the foreseeable future are very grave,” she said. “The state of Israel will employ all diplomatic means to prevent the confirmation of the agreement."
Israel says it opposes the deal because it does not ensure that Tehran would not acquire nuclear weapons, an argument that proponents of the deal call false. It also believes that lifting economic sanctions would give Iran additional resources to fund Israel's enemies in the region.
Owen Alterman from the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv expressed doubt that all Israel’s influence on the Congress will be enough to bring down the Iranian nuclear deal.
“In order for the Congress to be able to block the implementation of the agreement there’ll need to be a two-thirds majority in the two Houses to override president Obama’s veto. That’s a very high bar. And there’s no guarantee that Israel will be able to see it reached even if it puts all its efforts in,” he said.
Alterman believes that in order to have at least some chances, Israeli politicans have to give up tough rhetoric and come up with a message that would be better received in the US, especially, among democrats.
“Israel needs to come in and say ‘Israel supports peace and not war. Israel supports the principal of peaceful resolutions of disputes. It’s just that this agreement that over the long term will not lead to peace,” he told RT.