May 30, 2024
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Netanyahu: Our Alternative to Deal: More Pressure on Iran

Ayatollah Khamenei said a more wide-ranging agreement with America was unlikely, striking a different pose than Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who earlier said the Vienna accord could “step-by-step remove bricks from the wall of mistrust” between Iran and the US.

In an address carried live by Iranian state television last Saturday, Khamenei said, “Our policy toward the arrogant US government won’t change at all. We have no negotiations with America about various global and regional issues. We have no negotiations on bilateral issues. There are some exceptions like the nuclear program that we negotiated with the Americans to serve our interests.”

Khamenei’s speech, which he gave to a large crowd in Tehran to mark the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, stressed that Iran will continue to support its allies in the Middle East, including the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon, Palestinian terrorist groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the Syrian government.

“We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon,” Khamenei said.

Iran continues to call for the destruction of Israel, which Khamenei described in his speech as a “terrorist, baby-killer government.”

Khamenei’s speech was punctuated by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” by the crowd.

“The Americans are the real terrorists who created the Islamic State group and support the evil Zionists,” Khamenei said.

Khamenei accused the US of lying about the nuclear deal. “The Americans say they stopped Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Khamenei said. “They know it’s not true. We had a fatwa, declaring nuclear weapons to be religiously forbidden under Islamic law. It had nothing to do with the nuclear talks.”

“During the nuclear talks, we saw the Americans’ dishonesty over and over,” Khamenei said. “But fortunately our officials fought back.”

At the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Khamenei’s speech, saying, “If anyone thought that far-reaching concessions would lead Iran to change its policy, they received a decisive response this weekend with the aggressive and defiant speech made by the ruler of Iran, Khamenei. The Iranians are not even trying to hide the fact that they will use the hundreds of billions of dollars they will receive in the agreement to arm their terrorist machine. They are explicitly saying that they will continue their struggle against the US and its allies, first and foremost, Israel.

“Today, Iran is arming terrorist groups with missiles—tomorrow, it will have the ability to arm them with a far more dangerous weapon. The deal that was signed paves Iran’s path to nuclear weapons, either within a decade, if Iran abides by the deal, or much earlier, if it decides to violate the deal, which would be in line with its customary behavior.

“The alternative we have proposed repeatedly [to] this failed deal is maintain and bolster the sanctions on Iran and condition the removal of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and the easing of pressure on Iran on it changing its policy. As long as Iran’s leaders encourage chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel,’ there is no reason to make any concessions.”

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama said Saturday, “With this deal, we will have unprecedented, 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key nuclear facilities. With this deal, international inspectors will have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain. The verification process set up by this deal is comprehensive and it is intrusive—precisely so we can make sure Iran keeps its commitments.”

Obama added that without the deal “there would be no limits on Iran’s nuclear program. There would be no monitoring, no inspections. The sanctions we rallied the world to impose would unravel. Iran could move closer to a nuclear weapon. Other countries in the region might race to do the same. And we’d risk another war in the most volatile region in the world.”

Also on Saturday, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said only time would tell whether the deal with Iran was successful.

“To me, it’s about time and Iranian behavior,” Dempsey said. “I think it is a little bit premature for me to be convinced that it will have a moderating effect or it will not.”

By Eli Leon, Erez Linn, Israel Hayom Staff and News Agencies

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