Netanyahu pressed Obama to use nuclear weapons against Iran
Ex-US Secretary of State John Kerry reveals that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured the US administration in the past to nuke Iran, but says he doesn’t believe this will solve the problem.
Israel pressed the United States to bomb Iran when Barack Obama served as president, former Secretary of State John Kerry said during a conversation he held in London in Chatham House this week about the nuclear threat posed by Tehran.
“Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu was urging President [Barack] Obama to bomb Iran,” Kerry said but did not clarify when that request was made.
“Every leader I met with in the region … [including former Egyptian president Hosni] Mubarak, personally, to my face, said ‘you have to bomb Iran, that is the only thing they understand and that is the only way you will stop them having a nuclear weapon’,” Kerry recalled.
But Kerry expressed his doubts over this widely-shared notion, saying that “Bombing Iran does not necessarily stop them from having a nuclear weapon. It is the same dilemma that we face with North Korea. We do not know where everything is.”
At the time that the nuclear deal was put in place, Iran did not have a nuclear weapon, Kerry continued.
“I guarantee you, once you bomb the country, you have surely [sic] given them a good reason to want to have a weapon,” the ex-Secretary of State asserted.
Prior to the agreement Iran could have “dug two miles deep into a mountain” to create a facility to produce a nuclear weapon and should Tehran be bombed, it would be moved to do so, he added.
Kerry spoke on Tuesday, just four days after Netanyahu spoke to Chatham House about Iran. The former Secretary of State gave a rousing defense of the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, that was reached between Iran and the six world powers: the US, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany.
The accord delayed and constrained Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon, but did not eliminate Tehran’s ability to do so.
On Friday while in London Netanyahu made a passionate plea for the six world power to fix the problems in the agreement, which he believes will leave Iran with the capacity to produce 100 nuclear weapons.
US President Donald Trump and Netanyahu are in agreement that the deal is problematic, but the other five powers hold that it must remain in place. Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke and reaffirmed their commitment to the deal.
The Israeli premier believes that he can sway the leaders to take a series of steps outside the context of the agreement that would fix what he believes are three basic issues. These include inspections, Iran’s ballistic missile program and the ‘sunset’ clauses that allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons once the deal is done.
Kerry said that when the deal was concluded Iran was two months away from having the ability to produce a nuclear weapon, but that now, it was a year away. He added that under the terms of the deal, Iran won’t be able to produce a weapon for 15 years and then there will be another 10 years of oversight.
In addition, there is a procedure to reimpose sanctions if Iran breaks the terms of the deal.
Netanyahu told Chatham House that Iran is in a better position to produce nuclear weapons than it was before. Back when he drew his famous red line on a graphic at the United Nations in 2012, Netanyahu told Chatham House, he feared Iran would produce one bomb, but now he is afraid that once the deal is done it can produce 100 such weapons.
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