Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently opposed the recently inked Iran nuclear agreement — but now he wants to make sure Iran lives up to its end of the pact.
“Now that it’s done, let’s look forward. Let’s keep Iran’s feet to the fire. Let’s make sure that they keep all their obligations under the nuclear deal. That’s the first thing,” said Netanyahu on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” in an interview aired Sunday.
The Israeli leader made clear his intense opposition to the deal — which he argued would endanger his country — in a high-profile speech to Congress earlier this year. But lawmakers failed to block the deal’s implementation after most Democrats backed President Barack Obama, who argued it would help avert war.
“I’ll be the happiest person in the world if my concerns prove to be wrong. You know, the opposite could also happen, you know,” Netanyahu told Zakaria.”But I think the issue right now is — it’s a practical question. It’s not an ideological question. It’s not a political question. It’s a practical question — do they keep the agreement?”
Netanyahu said he wants to cooperate with the United States on other efforts to reduce Iran’s influence.
He was in the United States for the United Nations meeting in New York City. Netanyahu said he met with Secretary of State John Kerry for what he said marks the start of “the day after” a “family” dispute over the Iran deal.
He said Israel’s defense minister will travel in the coming weeks to Washington to meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. And he said he’ll meet himself with Obama in November.
“Let’s block Iran’s other aggression in the region, because they’re doing everything. They’re trying to encircle Israel with a noose of death,” Netanyahu said. “They’re sending weapons to the Houthis. They’re in Iraq. They’re in Afghanistan. They’re all over the place. In Yemen, of course. Let’s bolster those forces to stand up to Iran’s aggression in the region, and none is stronger, none is more reliable than Israel.”