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Netanyahu says US return to Iran deal will spark Mideast nuclear arms race

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivering statements in Jerusalem on January 7, 2021. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, left, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivering statements in Jerusalem on January 7, 2021. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning against the United States returning to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying it would lead to an atomic arms race in the region.

“If we return to the dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran, many other countries in the Middle East will rush to arm themselves with a nuclear weapon. This is a mistake — and we can’t let it happen,” he says, following a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Netanyahu praises Mnuchin for leading the effort to impose sanctions on Iran and calls for this strategy to continue.

“An important meeting with the American treasury secretary, my friend, Steve Mnuchin. I thanked him for his efforts to lead the imposition of sanctions on Iran and I told him that we must continue this policy in order to prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic weapon,” he says.

He also thanks US President Donald Trump and his administration “for everything you have done for peace,” referring to US-brokered normalization accords with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

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