Netanyahu to Unveil Details of Iran Agreement

Member of Netanyahu's entourage says he will unveil some details of the agreement with Iran during his Congress speech.

Elad Benari,

Netanyahu leaves for Washington
Netanyahu leaves for Washington
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to unveil some specific details of the agreement between Iran and the West during his speech to Congress on Tuesday, AFP reported Sunday night.

"We know a great deal about the emerging agreement," a member of Netanyahu's entourage said on condition of anonymity, shortly after Netanyahu’s plane landed in Washington.

"In our view, it is a bad agreement," the official added.

He would not indicate the source of the "excellent information" Israelis have about the deal, saying only that Netanyahu would elaborate when he addresses American lawmakers on Tuesday.

Israel worries that Iran and world powers will likely clinch a deal that eases international sanctions on Tehran without applying sufficiently stringent safeguards to halt its nuclear drive.

Netanyahu's trip comes just four weeks before a March 31 target for a framework deal with Iran. Negotiators intend to pin down the technical details of a comprehensive agreement by a June 30 deadline.

The so-called P5+1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany are trying to strike an accord that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

In return, the West would ease punishing sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear program, which Iran insists is purely civilian.

Netanyahu's 48-hour visit to Washington has stoked discord with President Barack Obama, who said he would not meet Netanyahu during the visit, citing its proximity to Israeli elections.

On Monday, Netanyahu will address the annual AIPAC policy conference. On Tuesday, he is due to speak before a joint session of the U.S. Congress to drum up last-minute support to halt a possible world deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

The speech to Congress has angered Democrats, after Republican House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu without consulting Democrats.

Some lawmakers, such as Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, have said they would not attend the speech, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi suggested some lawmakers might “be too busy to attend”.

As he left for Washington on Sunday morning, Netanyahu emphasized the historic importance of his trip.

"I'm going to Washington on a fateful, even historic, mission," he told reporters on the tarmac at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv shortly before his plane took off.

"I feel deep and sincere concern for the security of Israel's citizens and for the fate of the state and of all our people," he added.

"I will do everything in my power to ensure our future."




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