PM Netanyahu meets with UK Foreign Secretary Hammond

 

The alternative to the deal in Vienna that paves Iran’s path to the bomb is one that would roll back Iran's military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iran's behavior

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Thursday, 16 July 2015), met with UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and said at the start of their meeting:

 

"Secretary Hammond, I’d like to welcome you back to Jerusalem.

 

I want to once again express Israel’s solidarity with the people of Britain following last month's deadly terrorist attacks against British tourists in Tunisia. This was so close to the tenth anniversary of the 7/7 murderous attacks in London.

 

Both our countries continue to face the terrorism of militant Islam, led by Iran and ISIS.

 

Iran remains the world's preeminent sponsor of terrorism.

 

Iran's terrorist activities encompass over thirty countries, across five continents.

 

The deal agreed to in Vienna, I regret to say, paves this terrorist regime's path to the bomb.

 

The alternative to this bad deal is not war. The alternative is a better deal that would roll back Iran's military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iran's behavior.

 

That's the kind of deal that would be welcomed in Tel Aviv and here in Israel's capital, Jerusalem.

 

Israel would embrace a good deal that would compel Iran to choose between a path to the bomb and sanctions relief.

 

Unfortunately, the current deal allows Iran to avoid making that choice.

 

It lifts the sanctions today and paves a path to the bomb tomorrow.

 

That's not a triumph for diplomacy, but a failure of diplomacy.

 

And this failure threatens the survival of Israel, the security of our Arab neighbors and the peace of the world.

 

See, the Iran deal in Vienna grants Iran not one, but two paths to the bomb.

 

Iran can get to the bomb by cheating and overcoming a porous inspections mechanism, as did North Korea.

 

Or it can get the bomb by keeping the deal, because the deal allows Iran in about a decade to have a much greater number of even faster, more effective centrifuges than they have today. This will enable Iran to have the capacity to produce the enriched uranium for an entire nuclear arsenal with zero breakout time. And 10 years go by in the blink of an eye.

 

In the meantime, the sanctions relief offered by the deal will inject hundreds of billions of dollars into Iran's coffers. This money will bankroll Iran’s aggression in the region and its terrorism worldwide.

 

Mr. Secretary,

 

Israel has no territorial dispute with Iran. In fact, we have no dispute with Iran. Yet, since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has funded, trained, armed and dispatched terrorists responsible for murdering hundreds of Israelis and Jews throughout the world.

 

And Iran further says that Israel must be annihilated, must be wiped off the face of the earth.

 

So, Mr. Secretary,

 

Israelis know better than anyone else the cost of permanent conflict with Iran. And it is wrong to suggest that Israel wants such an outcome.

 

We seek a genuine and effective diplomatic solution.

 

But Israelis also know exactly what would happen if we ever let our guard down.

 

The result of that would be truly permanent.

 

So it’s evident, Mr. Secretary, that we may not agree on everything. But as friends and allies, we can respectfully disagree.

 

I look forward to our discussions on this issue, on the issue of advancing peace and security with our Palestinian neighbors and on forging better bilateral ties between Israel and Britain."

 

PM Netanyahu with UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond in Jerusalem. Photo: GPO/Haim Zach