Netanyahu to bring case against Iran deal to N. American Jews in live webcast event

Obama pressures groups who support the deal to step up their efforts to counter lobbying by groups such as AIPAC.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
August 1, 2015 10:46
4 minute read.
netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . (photo credit: REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly spoken out against the Iran nuclear deal, will state his case once again next week in a live webcast targeting Jewish institutions across North America.

Netanyahu will deliver remarks and answer questions from participants in an event described by organizers as a live virtual experience that will bring together thousands. 

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The event is co-sponsored by the member organizations of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Jewish Federations from across North America. 

The webcast will be transmitted to computers, cell phones and flat screens set up in synagogues, organizations and Jewish community centers large and small throughout the continent, organizers said.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) the largest pro-Israel lobby in Washington has been lobbying intensively on Capitol Hill in order to kill the deal.

Congress is currently reviewing the deal that the US and other world powers negotiated with Iran to limit its nuclear capabilities in exchange for a relief of sanctions.

Opponents of the deal question whether it goes far enough to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon.

Congress has until Sept. 17 to approve or reject the agreement. US President Barack Obama has said he would veto any legislation that undermines the deal, but Congress could override his veto with enough votes. 

Obama on Thursday told groups that support the Iran deal to make their voices heard to Congress to counter the millions of dollars in lobbying by those who want to derail the agreement.

"Right now the opponents of this deal have been flooding Congressional offices," Obama said on a call with groups including the Washington-based think tank Center for American Progress.

Groups who opposed the deal, such as AIPAC, have spent $20 million in TV ads to put pressure on members of Congress, Obama said.

"They start getting squishy because they're feeling the political heat," Obama said of members of Congress he has met with in recent weeks.

Obama did not thank the groups for any of their support so far, but rather pressured them to step up their efforts.

He drew comparisons to the lead up to the Iraq war, noting that groups who opposed it were not vocal until it was too late.

"In the absence of your voices, you are going to see the same array of voices that got us into the Iraq war, leading to a situation in which we forgo a historic opportunity and we are back on the path of potential military conflict," Obama said.

If upheld, the deal is certain to shape Obama's legacy as he prepares to leave office. He said he has never been more certain of a policy decision.

The White House said its supporters so far have contributed to 70,704 emails and 63,862 calls to members of Congress, urging them to not reject the deal.

"The more one looks at the Iran accord, the worse it looks"


The more one studies the Iranian nuclear agreement, the worse it looks Netanyahu said earlier this week.

“The more you know about the accord, the more you oppose it,” he said during a briefing with diplomatic reporters in which he passionately argued against the agreement.

Opposition to the agreement was growing in the US as well, as more questions were being asked about its details, he said, adding that the highest level of support for the deal was registered on the day it was signed, and that it has declined steadily ever since.

Netanyahu said that it was clear the accord paved two paths for Iran to a bomb. The first is if Iran abided by the agreement, and in 10 to 15 years would be able – without any breakout time at all – to build dozens of bombs.

This, he said, “will change the world.”

“Iran will be able to manufacture an unlimited number of centrifuges and will be able to enrich an unlimited amount of uranium,” he said.

“At the end of the decade their breakout time will be near zero, just a matter of days.”

The other path toward a bomb is if it violates the pact and will be able to build one or two bombs within a decade.

In addition to those two “problems” with the agreement, Netanyahu stressed that the lifting of sanctions will fill Iran’s coffers with money that will then be sent to proxies fighting Israel.

“They are trying to move weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, open a second front against us on the Golan, rehabilitate Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and start a front in Jordan.

And the declared intent is to harm us,” he said.


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