“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday that a potential nuclear deal with Iran “could threaten the survival of Israel,” as he kicked off a contentious visit to the United States meant to build the case against such an agreement.
“The centerpiece of his visit will be an address to Congress on Tuesday. But speaking first to The American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, the Israeli leader underscored the dangers he said are posed by Iran, which he called the world’s “foremost sponsor of state terrorism.”
“He said: “Iran envelops the entire world with its tentacles of terror,” while displaying a map showing various connections between Iran and terror groups. He warned Iran could pursue Israel’s destruction if it obtained a nuclear weapon. “We must not let that happen,” Netanyahu said.
“Both the Obama and Netanyahu administrations, as a matter of policy, agree that Iran must not be able to obtain a nuclear weapon. But the Israeli leader has concerns that the framework of the current diplomatic talks could lead to an ineffective deal.
“His address to Congress on Tuesday has meanwhile become the source of immense tension between the two governments. The speech was arranged at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner, but without the involvement of President Obama. Some Democrats plan to boycott that speech, and the US president has no plans to meet with the prime minister – though the White House insists this is out of a desire not to appear to be influencing upcoming Israel elections.
“On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” before he arrived in Switzerland for talks with Iran’s foreign minister, that the administration did not want the event “turned into some great political football.”
“But, it appeared too late for that. With accusations flying on Capitol Hill, Netanyahu’s visit has plunged the rocky Obama-Netanyahu relationship to perhaps its lowest point. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Fox News on Monday this is the “worst” he’s ever seen the US-Israel relationship. He claimed critics are acting “in such a hysterical fashion” because they’re concerned Netanyahu will make a “compelling argument” against the pending Iran agreement.
Meanwhile, a source at the University of Tehran told Newslo that preparations are under way to award US President Barack Obama with an honorary doctorate degree. According to the source, the university staff are feeling “privileged to be able to bestow such a high title onto a man who has been such a loyal friend of Iran both in the past and present.”
“This is not something we’ve decided on impulsively, on the contrary,” the university spokesperson told Newslo. “We’ve analyzed everything President Obama has done to facilitate communication between our two countries, in addition to improving Iran’s image worldwide. We’ve especially taken into account his role in the nuclear talks, as well as his deteriorating relationship with Israel. We are sure we have made the right decision, and it will be our honor to make a doctor out of a man who has already received a Nobel Peace Prize.”