Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Netanyahu Presses U.S. To Seek Better Iran Deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the United States on Sunday to seek a better deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program and said he would press American lawmakers not give Tehran “a free path to the bomb.”

Netanyahu, in the first of several appearances on U.S. Sunday news programs, said he has spoken with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress – nearly two thirds of House of Representatives members and a similar number in the U.S. Senate – about the Iran nuclear issue.

The Israeli prime minister has been strongly critical of the framework agreement struck on Thursday between world powers and Iran, saying it does not do enough to protect Israel.

“This is not a partisan issue. This is not solely an Israeli issue,” Netanyahu said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

“This is a world issue because everyone is going to be threatened by the pre-eminent terrorist state of our time, keeping the infrastructure to produce not one nuclear bomb but many, many nuclear bombs down the line.”

Netanyahu angered the White House and alienated some Democrats when he accepted a Republican invitation to address Congress on March 3, two weeks before the Israeli elections that returned him to office.

Netanyahu denied he was coordinating with House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, who visited Israel last week, and with other Republicans to block the Iran deal.

The Israeli leader denounced the framework agreement between Iran and the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, saying of Tehran, “They’re getting a free path to the bomb.”

“There’s still time to get a better deal and apply pressure to Iran to roll back its nuclear program,” he said on CNN.

U.S. President Barack Obama called the agreement reached in Lausanne, Switzerland, a “historic understanding” and told Netanyahu in a telephone call soon afterward that the deal represented progress toward a lasting solution that cuts off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu said he had an hourlong conversation with the U.S. president, with whom he has had strained relations.

Asked on CNN if he trusted Obama, Netanyahu said he was sure the U.S. president was doing what he thought best for his country, but they disagreed on what the best Iran policy should be.

“It’s not a question of personal trust,” Netanyahu said.

Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.