Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday met Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), who chairs the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu told Portman that the United States and Israel have differing views on the deal between Iran and the West, and warned once again that the deal should aim at blocking Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb.
“I welcome you here in that spirit of friendship between Israel and the United States. That doesn't mean we don't have differences of view,” he said.
“On the matter of the pending Iran deal,” Netanyahu continued, “we view things differently. We think that the goal of the Iran deal should not be just to reach any deal. It should be to block Iran's path to the bomb. And to block Iran's path to the bomb, we need a deal that prevents Iran from having what is given to it in Lausanne.”
“It is given first a vast nuclear infrastructure that is not needed for civilian nuclear energy. It also gives Iran the capacity within a decade or so to have the ability to produce fuel for dozens of nuclear bombs with virtually no breakout time, and this under international legitimacy. And it also gives, fills Iran's coffers in a very short time with tens of billions of dollars to fuel its aggression and its terrorism,” Netanyahu said.
“So we think we need a different deal, a better deal and there are those who tell us that this will not endanger Israel. I have to tell you as the Prime Minister of Israel responsible for Israel's security, it endangers Israel, it endangers the region, it endangers the world, the entire world in my opinion. So I think it's very important to insist on a better deal,” he concluded.
Netanyahu has continuously warned against the impending deal between Iran and the West. Last week he sent a video message to the influential Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), in which he warned against the Iran nuclear deal being formed ahead of a June 30 deadline.
The United States has rejected Netanyahu’s criticism. On Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry denounced what he called the “hysteria” around the deal.
Speaking to Channel 10, Kerry sought repeatedly to reassure Israelis that despite the criticism from Netanyahu and many others, any deal with Iran would be watertight.
"I say this again - we will not sign a deal that does not close off Iran's pathways to a bomb and that doesn't give us the confidence - to all of our experts... in fact, to global experts - that we will be able to know what Iran is doing and prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon," he insisted.
"President Obama has absolutely pledged they will not get a nuclear weapon," Kerry added.