Netanyahu: “I will go anywhere” to prevent nuclear Iran

Ben Sales

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his decision to address a joint session of the United States Congress regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

“As Prime Minister of Israel, I am obligated to make every effort in order to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons that would be aimed at the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday. “This effort is worldwide and I will go anywhere I am invited in order to enunciate the State of Israel’s position and in order to defend its future and its existence.”


Officials from the Obama administration, as well as Netanyahu’s Israeli political rivals, have criticized the speech, due to take place in March, which was arranged between Netanyahu and Speaker of the House John Boehner without first notifying Obama. Netanyahu supports increasing sanctions on Iran, which Obama opposes because it could endanger ongoing U.S.-led negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program.

Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting that the agreement likely to emerge from the negotiations would place Israel in danger by leaving Iran with the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon.

“In the coming weeks, the major powers are liable to reach a framework agreement with Iran, an agreement that is liable to leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, which would endanger – first and foremost – the existence of the State of Israel,” he said.