Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
The Security Cabinet unanimously rejected the nuclear agreement with Iran and determined that Israel is not bound by it.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement after the Security Cabinet meeting:
"I come here from a discussion in the Security Cabinet. The Cabinet unanimously rejected the major powers' nuclear agreement with Iran and it determined that Israel is not bound by it. This evening I also spoke with US President Barack Obama. I expressed Israel's two major concerns regarding this agreement, after having examined it.
One, the agreement allows Iran to develop extensive capabilities that will serve it in arming itself with nuclear weapons whether at the end of the period of the agreement in another 10-15 years, or earlier if it violates the agreement. Two, the agreement channels hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran's terrorism and war machine, a war that is directed against us and against others in the region.
The world's leading powers have gambled on our common future in a deal with the main financer and operator of global terrorism. This is an historic mistake! We were right when we said that the desire to sign an agreement is apparently stronger than anything else; therefore, we did not commit to prevent the agreement. We did commit to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons - and this commitment stands.
The claim heard from political elements to the effect that the personal relationship between myself and President Obama affected the nuclear agreement is absurd. Even before I took office as Prime Minister, there was an intention on the part of the American administration to normalize relations with Iran. Afterward, the US began secret negotiations with Iran which then became open. Of course, the desire to make an agreement brought about the result that it did.
On the other hand, over the past two decades, even when I was not Prime Minister and afterwards when I was Prime Minister, I did everything in my ability, everything in Israel's ability, to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons. This activity embraced many fields. First of all, together with other elements, we led the imposition of sanctions - and afterwards the biting sanctions - against Iran. At the UN [in 2012], I drew a red line for the high enrichment of uranium and Iran has yet to cross it. My speech to the US Congress put the problem of Iran on an international and domestic American platform in a way that became a subject for discussion and demanded answers. And of course we are making efforts today as well to explain that this agreement is flawed and that it endangers the peace of the world.
The pressure that we applied and the actions that we undertook over the years led to the fact that Iran did not arm itself with nuclear weapons and I can safely say that were it not for Israel's actions, including by governments that I led, Iran would have already armed itself with nuclear weapons. And therefore, at present there is one mission - to ensure that it does not arm itself with nuclear weapons in the future. And at this time, in the face of such a mission, we cannot indulge in petty politics and false accusations.
This is the time to unite and create a united front on a fateful issue for the future of the State of Israel. In any case, we will continue to defend ourselves by ourselves against all who threaten our destruction."
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