Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the United States Congress at 11 a.m. EST this morning. The leader of the Jewish State, who has endured a blistering attack by Obama and his supporters for daring to accept the invitation to speak to Congress without the President’s blessing, plans to impress upon American lawmakers and the American public the serious danger Israel and the free world faces from a nuclear-armed Iran. Netanyahu is gravely concerned that Obama is determined to force through a deal with Iran, come hell or high water, that will leave Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, free to reach the breakout stage for nuclear weapons.
The landmark speech, which has caused some controversy since Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican, invited the Israeli premier to address Congress, looks set to ruffle some feathers on Capitol Hill.
In defending his position on Iran, President Obama told Reuters, “Netanyahu made all sorts of claims. This was going to be a terrible deal. This was going to result in Iran getting $50 billion worth of relief. Iran would not abide by the agreement. None of that has come true.”
Netanyahu has also been warned by State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf not to discuss any specific details of the deal with Iran as revealing them could affect the negotiations.
As Harf told reporters at a press conference, “We’ve continuously provided detailed classified briefings to Israeli officials to keep them updated and to provide context. Any release of any kind of information like that would, of course, betray that trust. We want to keep talking in these settings, of course, but that would be a problem.”
At the same time, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday, “This president has made clear that he’s not going to sign a bad deal.”
In backing up the Israeli government’s position, Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, gave an assurance that Iran will not be allowed to obtain a nuclear bomb. “The United States of America will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, period,” she said.
For his part, Benjamin Netanyahu said about his forthcoming speech, “The purpose of my address to Congress tomorrow is to speak up about a potential deal with Iran that could threaten the survival of Israel. My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama.”