Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will likely not support any deal between the U.S. and Iran unless it involves Iran completely surrendering all of its nuclear energy facilities and foregoing all sanctions relief.
Speaking to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, officials with the White House told reporters they do not expect Netanyahu to negotiate with the U.S. or with Iran on any deal moving forward.
“That is the logic of Israel’s criticism,” the officials told Haaretz.
The officials also warned that any attempt by Congress to strike down the deal would embolden Iran and weaken America’s position, not allowing the U.S. to defend its strongest ally, Israel.
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A nay vote could be “potentially catastrophic” to any future chances in curbing Iran’s nuclear energy capabilities and other nations abroad, the officials stated.
The White House officials also admitted that “it’s hard to have reasoned discussions,” with Israel’s leaders over the Iran deal, further signaling growing animosity between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.
Last week, Obama promised he would increase Israel’s “security assurances,” but objected to any recommendations from Netanyahu on other aspects of the deal that have united Israel’s two main political parties on the issue.
Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Zionist party that narrowly lost to Netanyahu in Israel’s elections earlier this year, said he agreed with the prime minister on defending Israel’s stance in the Iran negotiations.
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“With regard to security, I am more extreme than Netanyahu,” Herzog said to reporter Jonathan Zimmerman for Providence Journal.
Zimmerman’s report discusses a rare display of unity from many political parties and groups in Israel, all voicing their concerns over Obama’s true intentions toward protecting America’s longtime ally.
Other Israeli politicians that have joined Netanyahu’s and Herzog’s position include the prime minister’s former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who left Netanyahu’s office in favor of starting another political party.
Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza oppose the Iran deal by large margins, reports the Providence Journal. According to the report, only 25 percent thought the deal would be “good for the Arabs.”
Speaking on July 22, Netanyahu pushed for the negotiations to continue, calling the current deal a “historical mistake.”
“No agreement is better than this bad agreement,” he added.