Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and warned that the emerging Iran nuclear deal will endanger his country, the Middle East and the entire world.
“Now is the time for the international community to insist on a better deal,” Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem. “A better deal would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. A better deal would link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior.”
Negotiators from Iran and six world powers headed by the U.S. are meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, trying to reach an outline for an agreement that would limit the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weapons program in return for lifting international sanctions. Netanyahu says the Iranians aim to develop nuclear weapons that pose an existential threat to Israel, while Iran says its program is for peaceful energy and medical purposes.
Netanyahu has found a staunch ally against President Barack Obama’s efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran in House Republican leader Boehner, who arranged the Israeli leader’s speech to Congress on March 3 over White House opposition.
“Our delegation has spent the last five days throughout the Middle East,” Boehner said at his meeting with Netanyahu. “And regardless of where in the Middle East we’ve been, the message has been the same: You can’t continue to turn your eye away from the threats that face all of us.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said late Tuesday that negotiators had reached consensus on major points and expect to start drafting a statement on an agreement on Wednesday. Talks have extended beyond their March 31 deadline.