It is not too late to stop a bad nuclear deal between Iran and the West, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York City, in remarks made via video conference.
“Israel has no better friend in the world than the United States. And the United States has no better friend than Israel. I want to thank President Obama, the Congress and the American people for all they have done for Israel's security,” Netanyahu said.
“But,” he continued, “even the closest of friends can respectfully disagree about issues of international security. And of these, none is more important to Israel, to the stability of the Middle East and to the peace of the world, than the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.”
“Preventing Iran from being able to build nuclear weapons is the preeminent challenge of our generation,” stressed Netanyahu. “We must understand that Iran doesn't just threaten the destruction of Israel; it is conquering huge swaths of the Middle East as it seeks to export its Islamic revolution across the globe.”
“Today,” noted the prime minister, “Iran's campaign of aggression engulfs the entire Middle East: Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, Libya, elsewhere. Today, Iran is sponsoring worldwide terrorism in the Middle East, in Asia, in Africa, in Europe, in North and South America. Today, Iran is conducting an unprecedented conventional arms build-up: drones, rockets, satellites, submarines, precision guided missiles and other lethal weapons. And in recent months Iran has supplied increasingly sophisticated weapons to its terrorist proxies: to Hezbollah, to Hamas, to Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Yemen and others. Today, Iran conducts cyber-attacks against Israel, its Arab neighbors and the West.”
“Iran is doing all this today without nuclear weapons. Think of what Iran would do tomorrow with nuclear weapons,” warned Netanyahu.
The framework reached between the sides in April, Netanyahu said, “paves Iran's way to produce the enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons. That's the inevitable outcome if Iran keeps the deal. If they decide to break the deal, they can get to the bomb much sooner. The deal also gives Iran tens of billions of dollars immediately, and hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years.”
He called for “patience and resolve, to hold out for a better deal, one that will actually block Iran's path to the bomb, one that will tie the lifting of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iranian behavior.”
“A better deal is still possible. It's not too late,” said Netanyahu.