Netanyahu: My Words Resonated with Congress

Prime Minister Netanyahu says his speech did indeed offer a new alternative to the emerging agreement with Iran.

Hezki Baruch ,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Shortly after returning to Israel from Washington, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening spoke about his speech to Congress, saying that he believed it had resonated among American lawmakers.

Netanyahu said that his speech did indeed offer a new alternative to the emerging agreement with Iran.

"I said that the deal will not stop Iran from developing a bomb, but rather will pave the way to it. That is why I called on the world powers to adopt two key changes into the agreement," Netanyahu said, adding, "I called to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in order to extend the time it would take Iran to produce the needed material for a nuclear bomb if it violates the agreement,”

"Second,” he continued, “I called to maintain the sanctions on Iran until it stops its support for terrorism, its aggression and its threats to destroy Israel. If Iran wants to be treated as a normal country, it should start behaving like one.”

The Prime Minister stressed that his statements in Congress "had an impact and they have special significance, particularly at this time. Congress may affect and possibly decide the fate of the agreement."

Netanyahu’s remarks may have been a response to President Barack Obama, who had responded to the speech by maligning it as "theater," and claiming Netanyahu hadn't presented an alternative to the Iran nuclear deal being formed.

The State Department had similar criticism, as its deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said: "We didn’t hear any - certainly any new ideas today, but more importantly, didn’t hear one single concrete alternative in today’s speech from the Prime Minister about how we could get to a double-digit duration, push breakout time to a year, and cut off the four pathways Iran could...use to get...fissile material for a nuclear weapon."

Sources close to Netanyahu told Channel 2 News earlier Wednesday that the Prime Minister offered a credible alternative to Obama's current Iran policy that would more successfully contain the Islamic Republic's nuclear development program.