Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday vowed that the nuclear agreement struck between the major world powers and Iran “is not the last word.”
Speaking before the Knesset to honor the memory of Likud ideological forebear Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the premier said that it was Israel’s vocal opposition to the Iran nuclear program that delayed Tehran’s attainment of the bomb.
“We brought the Iranian issue to the attention of world public opinion,” Netanyahu said. “If it wasn’t for us, there would not have been a discussion about it.”
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“If it weren’t for Israel’s efforts, Iran would’ve gained possession of a nuclear weapon a long time ago,” the prime minister said.
“We are not bound by this agreement and we will continue to oppose it,” Netanyahu said. “This agreement is bad on all counts. Whoever says that the deal needs to be evaluated in the future needs to take into account the fact that it will be examined in the immediate future.”
“When we read the agreement, the picture becomes even bleaker because we discover more absurd things in it,” the premier said.
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Netanyahu criticized the Western powers for their “willingness to accept tyrannical regimes,” a theme that dovetailed with a remembrance session in honor of Jabotinsky.
In Zionist lore, Jabotinsky is credited with foreseeing the danger posed to European Jewry by the rise of Nazism.
“This is different than 1938 because back then, there was no precedent,” the prime minister said. “Now there is, and then we didn't have a country. Now we do.”
The prime minister cited diplomatic pressure as a method Jabotinsky touted in working towards the formation of a Jewish state, adding: "The agreement that was signed in Vienna is not the end of the story. We will continue fighting."
Netanyahu called the agreement "bad in every way" and pointed to "absurd things" about it, like the fact that Iran has a 24-day warning before the IAEA can inspect any of its nuclear sites, and that any intelligence that would lead to a need for an inspection must be turned over to Teheran.
The prime minister also pointed to the system for bringing back sanctions, saying that no business deal made before the sanctions were returned would have to be canceled, making it a major incentive to invest in Iran.
Netanyahu also quoted a Jabotinsky essay from 1938 criticizing Western powers for being willing to accept tyrannical regimes in hopes of attaining quiet.
"Not everyone learned the lessons of history. Today, too, powers fall for the trap of smiles. I am not saying that we are in 1938 for two reasons, first that then there was no precedent and today there is, and second, today we have a state and then we didn't, and its job is to continue acting against things that endanger it," he said.
"The person who spoke the truth about this agreement is the Iranian President, who said Iran achieved all hits goals," Netanyahu added. "We are not obligated by the agreement and will continue to oppose it. There is no coalition and opposition and we must have a united front to ensure our existence."
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