Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has reiterated his resolve to speak before Congress later this month, saying Congress could well be the "final brake" stopping a "bad deal" over Iran's nuclear program, which would allow the Islamic Republic to become a nuclear threshold state.
Netanyahu made the comments during a tour of the IDF's Southern Command headquarters, along with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sammy Turgeman.
"Even after Hamas took the severest blow in its history, we are continuing to monitor its activities and we are prepared for any and all developments," Netanyahu said. "I came here with the Defense Minister in order to be updated by the IDF on our deployment and on our possibilities for future action."
"It must be understood that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all the other terrorist organizations are acting with the full support of Iran, which has openly declared its intention to destroy the State of Israel," the PM noted.
Netanyahu claimed that in addition to the continual threat of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, all the latest information indicated that world powers were heading towards a deal with Iran which would leave it as a nuclear-capable state.
"To my regret, the information which has reached me in recent days greatly strengthens our concerns regarding the agreement being formulated between the major powers and Iran.
"This agreement, if indeed it is signed, will allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. That is, with the consent of the major powers, Iran – which openly declares its intention to destroy the State of Israel – will receive a license to develop the production of bombs.
"This is a bad agreement that endangers our future."
Israel has long warned that a deal under discussion between Iran and the so-called P5+1 powers would leave Tehran on the brink of acquiring a nuclear weapon. "Threshold status" would mean that while not actually in possession of a nuclear weapon, Iran would still maintain all the facilities necessary to build one within a very short period of time - something it could do at a time of its choosing.
That, said Netanyahu, was a risk Israel was not willing to take - even if it means forging ahead with his plans to speak before Congress against the will of the White House.
"It is my obligation as Prime Minister to do everything that I can to prevent this agreement; therefore, I will go to Washington to address the American Congress because the American Congress is likely to be the final brake before the agreement between the major powers and Iran," he said.