The Israeli Ambassador to the US also said that while the nuclear deal is a big deal, the survival of Israel is also a big deal. He rejected the suggestion that Netanyahu could be wrong about the dangerous nuclear deal, urging his CNN host to “get the facts.”
In a CNN interview over the weekend with Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, host Fareed Zakaria seemed to imply that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be mistaken in his dire warnings against the nuclear agreement recently signed by the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“For 20 years, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been saying that Iran would have the bomb in two-to three years… Why has he been wrong for 20 years about Iran? Is it possible that you don’t completely understand Iran?” Zakaria asked.
“The Prime Minister of Israel understands Iran better than almost every leader in the world because he’s been focusing on this issue for 20 years,” Dermer stated.
Zakaria stressed that Netanyahu has been claiming for two decades that Iran would get the bomb within a few years and that it has not happened. Dermer explained that it was precisely because Israel and the US were working closely together to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power that the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions were not yet realized and that such cooperation should continue. The current nuclear deal, he added, would remove the obstacles to Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Get the facts,” Dermer declared. “I guarantee you Fareed, had the United States and Israel done nothing over the last 15 years, they [Iran] would have had a bomb maybe 10 years ago…
“This deal closes the nuclear file, not by blocking Iran’s path to the bomb, but by ceding to them a nuclear weapons capability and a nuclear arsenal, at best delaying it for a few years.”
The Israeli leader has been under attack for allegedly causing a major rift in Israeli-US relations. In fact, last Sunday US President Barack Obama, also in a CNN interview with Zakaria, accused Netanyahu of interfering in American politics by arguing so strongly against the deal and urging members of Congress to prevent it in a vote scheduled for September.
Netanyahu and his team are said to be vigorously lobbying lawmakers in an attempt to persuade them to vote against the deal next month. The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobby, is also opposing the president on the issue. Obama has promised a swift veto if Congress rejects the deal. Lawmakers would then have to collect two thirds of the votes to override the president.
Survival of Israel a ‘Big Deal’
“There’s no question that this is the most important relationship in the world, and we are not eager in any way to have to be at odds on the most important policy priority of the president of the United States. That’s a big deal,” Dermer told the CNN host. “But… the survival of the state of Israel is also a big deal, and we believe that this deal threatens the survival of Israel.”
According to Dermer, “When the president and the US Secretary of State John Kerry, when they say they believe this deal is better for America and better for Israel, I have no doubt they are being sincere. We just disagree with their judgement. We think that this deal will endanger Israel’s security.”
Dermer pointed out that the majority of Israelis – including Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition – are united against the deal.
“We’re a Jewish state, we have a lot of opinions and we’re a democracy. We are not unanimous on anything,” Dermer said in response to Zakaria’s argument that some former Israeli security officials approve of the deal.
By: United with Israel Staff