Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer defended Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to speak to a joint session of Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat.
“The prime minister’s visit to Washington is intended for one purpose, and one purpose only,” Dermer told an audience at an Israel Bonds event in Florida: “To speak up while there is still time to speak up. To speak up when there is still time to make a difference.”
Dermer stressed that a bad agreement between the P5+1 powers and Iran, leaving Iran with capabilities to become a nuclear threat, poses an existential threat to Israel.
“Today, the international community stands at the precipice of forging an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. The agreement that is being discussed today is not an agreement that would dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability, but rather one that could leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state. That is an agreement that could endanger the very existence of the State of Israel.”
Dermer clarified that Netanyahu’s visit was “not intended to show any disrespect for President Obama,” nor was it intended “to wade into your [the US’s] political debate.”
Negotiators from Iran and the US, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany hope to arrive at an initial agreement by March 30 and to reach a final deal by June 30. Jerusalem is closely and anxiously monitoring these negotiations, fearing that the Iranians will walk away with an agreement with which they can still threaten Israel’s existence.
By Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel