WASHINGTON — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned a joint session of the US Congress that an emerging deal over Iran’s nuclear program would “inevitably” trigger war.
Netanyahu was interrupted numerous times by US lawmakers’ wild applause. Though the Israeli leader said his appearance and remarks were not political, Republicans clearly appeared more receptive and enthusiastic about his hawkish tone on Iran.
At times, Netanyahu sounded like a political analyst, arguing why the terms of a potential deal that would essentially freeze Iran’s nuclear arms program would threaten Israel.
“This deal will not change Iran for the better,” he said. “It will only change the Middle East for the worst.”
Netanyahu said if Tehran agrees to the deal reportedly offered by the United States and other global powers, it would not bring about “a farewell to arms,” but rather “a farewell to arms control.”
Israeli officials would support existing and potential new sanctions and restrictions on Iran to be lifted only if Tehran “lifts its aggression on the region and the world.”
Facing a re-election vote back home in mere days, Netanyahu warned US lawmakers that even while dealing with sanctions, Iran is interfering in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
He challenged those in the chamber to imagine what else Iran would do if sanctions were lifted.
Read More:Netanyahu: Iran Deal Could Lead to War.