Livni Blames Netanyahu for Congress Support of Iran Deal

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) on Wednesday blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after President Barack Obama secured the necessary number of votes in Congress to ensure the passage of the Iran nuclear deal, and called him to re-examine his policies.

“In light of the news from the United States and ahead of Yom Kippur, Netanyahu needs to do some real soul-searching about his failure on Iran, for which we will all pay,” she said.

"The same person who was the first to recognize [Iran's nuclear program] and repeatedly warned against Iran," Livni declared, "is the first one who has to do some soul-searching about the failure to prevent the nuclearization and about the damage he caused to Israel's strategic relationship with the United States in his stubborn refusal to discuss the agreement and try to improve it."

Livni noted that "since the agreement was signed, Iran has been legitimized and world has already begun to court it,” and then added, "A responsible prime minister would understand that this wheel cannot be turned back, even if Congress would oppose the deal, and would have made a new assessment of the situation and act promptly to minimize the damage."

Instead, she claimed, "Netanyahu decided to continue to act politically in the United States in order to obtain compliments from his Republican friends and from his supporters in Israel.”

Livni said she believes that now that Congressional approval of the agreement is a done deal, Israel has reached the point where it will lose no matter what.

"Iran grows stronger despite the objections of Israel, the strategic alliance with the United States becomes a contentious issue, American Jewry has been severely harmed, and the security compensation that will be given to Israel now will be worse than what we could have received,” she claimed.

Obama was able to secure the necessary number of votes in Congress after Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the 34th senator to declare her support Wednesday, saying that in her view the deal was the best way to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

Her announcement came just one day after Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Bob Casey (D-PA) similarly declared their support, providing the White House with 33 out of the 34 votes it would need to maintain a presidential veto.

Netanyahu has been a vocal critic of the deal, a fact which caused tensions between Jerusalem and Washington.

Obama, however, last week downplayed the tensions with Netanyahu, telling North American Jews during a webcast that “we’ve repeatedly had times where the administration and the Israeli government had disagreements. That doesn’t affect the core commitments we have for each other.”


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