Sources close to Netanyahu indicate he’ll keep fighting Iran nuclear deal


(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to continue his campaign against the Iran nuclear deal, even as President Barack Obama has secured enough congressional support to sustain a veto of any effort to block it.

Hours after Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., announced that she was supporting the agreement, effectively ensuring that the deal will survive attempts in Congress to overturn it, an unidentified “source close to” Netanyahu said that “a clear majority in the American public and in Congress” agree with his opposition, the Times of Israel reported.

“Netanyahu is expected to take the line that even though Obama has managed to preserve his right to uphold a veto, the deal with Iran still does not have legitimate public support,” according to Haaretz.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a “senior official” in the Israeli government said that Netanyahu “has a responsibility to speak out against the deal” and “will continue to do so.”

The Post added that “sources close to the prime minister” said that Netanyahu has no regrets about his battle against the deal, including his decision to speak before a joint session of Congress in March, which was widely seen as an affront to Obama.

“The American people get it,” the sources said, according to The Post. “They understand the dangers to Israel. They understand the dangers to the United States. That’s why a clear majority believe the deal should be rejected, which is also reflected in Congress, where a clear majority seems prepared to reject the deal.”

The deal, which was reached in July following negotiations between Iran and six world powers, trades sanctions relief for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

The sources also insisted that the U.S.-Israel relationship is “strong” and that Netanyahu has “no doubt that the United States and Israel will continue to work together to address the enormous challenges confronting both our nations.”

Despite the ongoing tensions between the two leaders, Netanyahu may meet with Obama in Washington in November, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Wednesday night. The two have not met face to  face since October 2014.


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