Netanyahu: Israel’s view on Iran deal remains unchanged

August 5, 2016  

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated on Friday that Israel rejects the Iran nuclear deal, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama said that the deal was a success and asserted that even Israel feels that way.

“While Israel’s view on the Iran deal remains unchanged… it firmly believes that Israel has no greater ally than the United States,” said the statement released by Netanyahu’s office.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu looks forward to further strengthening the alliance between Israel and the United States with President Obama and with the next U.S. administration,” it added.

The statement did not use as sharp a language as an earlier statement released by the Defense Ministry which likened the Iran nuclear deal to the Munich Agreement, which allowed Nazi Germany to annex parts of then Czechoslovakia.

“The Munich Agreement did not prevent World War II and the Holocaust because it rested on the hypothesis that Nazi Germany could be a partner to an agreement,” said the Defense Ministry.

The statement further added that “the defense establishment, like the people of Israel and much of the world, understands that agreements such as the one signed between world powers and Iran not only are not useful, but also harm the uncompromising struggle which must be taken against a terrorist state like Iran.”

Obama, speaking at the Pentagon on Thursday, said the agreement “has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work.”

“And it’s not just the assessment of our intelligence community. It’s the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community,” he stressed. “The country that was most opposed to this deal acknowledges this has been a game-changer that Iran has abided by the deal that they no longer have the sort of short term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons,” he claimed.

Obama’s comments are not the first time that an American official has quoted Israeli security officials in justifying the nuclear deal.

Secretary of State John Kerry in February cited comments by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot as proof that the nuclear deal with Iran has improved Israel’s security.

He was apparently referring to comments by the IDF Chief of Staff at the Institute for National Security Studies’ annual conference in Tel Aviv, where he said that although the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers contained “many risks,” it also featured “opportunities” for Israel.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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