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Iran could nuke New York, Bennett warns Americans

Jewish Home party leader says Tehran seeking to target Western cities with nuclear-armed intercontinental missiles

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett warned American TV viewers Sunday that Iranian nuclear ambitions were a direct threat to the West, and that the regime in Tehran was developing its missile program abilities with an eye to launching nuclear attacks on major Western cities.

Bennett, who is Israel’s economy minister, told Fox News in an interview that Iran, “the biggest exporter of terror in the world,” was developing nuclear warheads and intercontinental missiles capable of reaching New York, London and Paris.

He underscored that a nuclear-armed Iran was not only a threat to Israel and the Middle East, noting that Iran was already capable of hitting Israel with its Shahab rockets if it wanted to.

Bennett traveled to the US with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend to attend Netanyahu’s controversial speech to Congress Tuesday, where the prime minister is expected to warn US lawmakers against an emerging nuclear deal whose reported terms he’s vociferously opposed.

Reiterating his comments from an AIPAC address earlier that day, Bennett called the emerging deal between Iran and western powers “an unmitigated disaster” that “effectively legitimizes Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

“It creates a path for them to get a bomb in the next few years,” he said.

During the interview, Bennett referred to the six UN Security Council resolutions that banned Iran from enriching uranium, and pointed to almost two dozen other countries that use nuclear power without an enrichment program.

On Monday, a senior official traveling with Netanyahu said that the prime minister would reveal details from the emerging nuclear deal  to “uninformed” US lawmakers during his speech to Congress on Tuesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters covering the prime minister’s trip that Israel knows more about the agreement with Iran than many members of Congress.

“We know many details from the agreement being put together, details that we feel members of Congress are unaware of,” the official said. “According to the information we have, the deal currently taking shape will leave Iran with the capability to build a nuclear weapon, if [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei makes a decision to do so.”

AP and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report. 

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