Yair Lapid: “We are still paying for the damages of Netanyahu’s speech in Congress”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid held a media briefing today (Sunday) amid reports that the nuclear agreement between Iran and the powers is expected to be signed in the coming weeks. Lapid attacked the head of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, and claimed that Israel is still paying the price for the damage, so to speak, caused by his speech to the American Congress in 2015.

Report in Iran: The US rejected three demands of Tehran in the nuclear deal

“The State of Israel has been conducting a multi-system political struggle for more than a year aimed at preventing the re-signing of the nuclear agreement with Iran. The head of the National Assembly returned from Washington this weekend, the defense minister is there now. We are making a concerted effort to make sure that the Americans and the Europeans understand the dangers involved in the agreement. This agreement is not a good agreement. He was already not good when he was signed in 2015. Today the dangers inherent in it are even greater. It is closer to its end date, and Iran is in a different place technologically,” Lapid began.

“The State of Israel is not opposed to any agreement. It is possible and necessary to get Iran to sign a much better agreement – what the Americans themselves called: Longer & Stronger. Longer – because it will be an agreement without an end date, as proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron. Stronger – because the supervision will be tight more, and he will also deal with Iran’s ballistic missile program and Iran’s involvement in terrorism throughout the Middle East. Such an agreement can be reached if a credible military threat is placed on the table. If the Iranians see that their refusal and their deceptions have a heavy price. This is what led the Iranians to sign the agreement Last time. President Obama advertised the capabilities of the so-called Bunker Busters – bombs that penetrate bunkers, and the Iranians took the hint and signed the agreement,” he added.

“Our political directive, from day one, is to fight against the agreement with all our might, but without harming the strategic relations with the US, and without harming their attention to our arguments. We must not get to the situation we were in in 2015. We are still paying for the damage caused by Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, as a result of which the American administration stopped the dialogue with us and did not allow Israel to introduce amendments to the agreement. We acted differently and in the last months we had quite a few achievements against the Americans and against the other partners. President Biden, following the strategic dialogue with us, decided not to lift the sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards,” continued Lapid.

Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

“Discussions with the Americans also prevented this week the attempts to give concessions to the revolutionary guards, prevented political pressure on the IAEA to close the open cases, prevented further concessions to Iran. Regarding the latest proposal put on the table by the European Union, we told the Americans: “This is not what President Biden wanted.” This is not what he talked about during his visit to the country, this is not what he signed in the Jerusalem Declaration,” he added.

Lapid concluded the briefing with a message to the American administration: “At the same time, we made it clear to the Americans: The State of Israel will not depend on the decisions of Iran or the decisions of the powers. As written in the Jerusalem Declaration, we have the right to defend ourselves. If an agreement is signed – it does not bind us. We are not a party in it and it will not limit our actions. The IDF and the Mossad received an instruction from us to prepare themselves for any scenario. We will be ready to act to maintain Israel’s security. The Americans understand this, the world understands this, Israeli society should also know this.”

Source: Maariv.co.il – פוליטי – מדיני by www.maariv.co.il.

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