Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett intends to travel to the US this week to lobby US Congress members against a potential deal with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions.
Bennett, speaking on Sunday to Army Radio, said he will fly to the US on Tuesday, where he plans to “lobby dozens of members of the US Congress, to whom I will personally explain… that Israel’s security is in jeopardy.”
In the interview, the head of the religious-nationalist Jewish Home party said that “the survival of Israel and the security of the Western world” hinged on dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, and not merely “clicking on the pause button.” Bennett said that if, in 10 years’ time, “a nuclear suitcase explodes in New York,” it will “because of concessions that happened in recent days.”
Despite reported progress, the latest round of discussions, conducted over the weekend in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 powers, ended without a deal after a proposed agreement was questioned by France. The sides are to meet again on November 20.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been bitterly critical of the emerging deal, and on Friday publicly urged Secretary of State John Kerry not to sign it.
Israel has strongly opposed any deal that would leave Iran with the capability to quickly construct a nuclear weapon, leading Netanyahu and other officials to publicly come out against what they saw as a flawed potential agreement over the weekend.