Sunday, September 11, 2016

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Purpose in Addressing
the US Congress on Iran

by Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker

Canada Free Press, March 5, 2015.

Over the past several weeks the American and Israeli national presses, as well as the American Jewish press, have debated the wisdom of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address a joint session of Congress concerning the Iranian nuclear program. President Obama indicated quite clearly that he was most displeased by this prospect and applied quite some pressure on Israel in an effort to force PM Netanyahu to cancel the speech—all to no avail. We might want to ask why Obama desired to scuttle such a presentation on the part of the Prime Minister, and what drove Netanyahu to resist all this pressure.  

Clearly Prime Minister Netanyahu and the bulk of Israel’s security apparatus view the threat of a nuclear Iran as an existential threat to the State of Israel; for thirty-six years the Islamic Republic of Iran has issued threats against Israel’s existence. Both of Iran’s Supreme Leaders—the late Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini and current reigning Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—have continually called for the destruction of Israel and the liberation of Jerusalem. Former Iranian Presidents Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad indicated their desire to see nuclear weaponry used against Israel. Given the animosity of the current Iranian regime towards Israel and its long history of supporting any and all terrorist movements attacking Jews and Israelis, the Israeli assessment of danger in Iranian possession of nuclear weaponry capability is both prudent and warranted.

On the other side of the equation has been President Obama’s desire to strike a grand bargain with Iran. Faced with the threat of Sunni radicalism in the form of al-Qaeda and now the Islamic State, Obama and his administration have hoped that Iran’s Shiite animosity for the Sunnis will aid the United States in bringing the radical Sunni threat to an end. And indeed, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran) and its Qods Force (Sepahe-Qods) units have bolstered the Iraqi Shiite militias allowing them to counter the military forces of the Islamic State in Iraq.

But the White House, and its supporters are deluding themselves if they believe that Iran is prepared to abandon terrorism, its desire for hegemony in the Persian Gulf, and ultimately to spread its revolutionary Islamic message worldwide. President Obama may think that he is repeating Roosevelt’s deal with Stalin against Hitler, but he’s got the cast of characters wrong. Iran is the new Nazi Germany—as any moderate Iranian ex-pat can testify—and permitting Iran a nuclear threshold capability is as wise as it would have been to allow Hitler a similar ability. I recollect that the Allies destroyed the German heavy-water plant in Norway during World War II to disrupt the fledgling Nazi nuclear program.

But don’t listen to my biases; let the facts speak for themselves. Iran has been violating all the interim agreements concerning its nuclear program, refusing to grant free access to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor its nuclear facilities, to the point that last week the IAEA inspectors[1] suggested that Iran probably has more hidden facilities. Just last week the dissident, anti-regime National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed the existence of a new site—Lavizan-3[2]—in the  north Tehran suburbs, adding to the list of such hidden facilities that have been discovered over the last decade and a half.

So too, the Iranian regime has been engaging in a thirty-five year war against the United States and Israel by using proxies that it trains, arms and supplies: Hezbollah in Lebanon (with cells around the world), Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian territories (as well as Hamas), the Houthis in Yemen, the Badr Brigade in Iraq, as well as the Jaish al-Mehdi, Saraya al-Salam, Asa'ib [Ahl al-Haq], [Harakat] al-Nujaba, the Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Iraqi Shiite militias[3]. Iran has supplied weaponry to the Islamist rebels in the Sinai and supports and supplies weaponry and training to both the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad with whom it has a mutual defense treaty, and the regime of Sudan’s strongman—President Omar al-Bashir.

Given Iran’s lousy track record in adhering to restrictions, cooperating with inspections by the IAEA, ending its support for terrorism, and ending its bellicosity towards the West—see its latest videos of attacks on a mockup of an American aircraft-carrier[4] this last week—the prudence demonstrated by PM Netanyahu in questioning Iran’s sincerity makes more sense than Obama’s quest for a very flawed treaty. As the prime minister stated so clearly, when Iran reforms itself (don’t hold your breath), renounces support for terrorist groups and stops organizing, training, funding and supplying them, when it stops interfering in and subverting the governments of its neighbors, when it stops threatening to destroy Israel, and when it complies regularly with the IAEA’s demand for nuclear transparency, then a treaty with Iran might make sense. Until Iran makes such changes, any treaty that allows Iran to continue its nuclear program intact—while supposedly lying dormant for a decade—is a recipe for disaster and a guarantee of Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear arsenal. 

As any clear-eyed observer can see, it is the pressure that the sanctions placed upon Iran that brought the regime to the negotiating table. Until the regime capitulates on its weaponization program, sanctions should be increased, not diminished.  The effect of sanctions on Iran’s economy[5] has been enormous and can become yet more so. The prime minister also indicated that Iran’s ICBM program—which would allow it to threaten any location on the globe—needs to be addressed in any and all proposed treaties with the Islamic Republic.

Congress needed to hear first-hand what PM Netanyahu had to say, as it should be directly involved in overseeing the terms of any treaty proposal. Our founding fathers knew what they were doing when they designed a tri-part government.

[1] Charles Krauthammer, “The fatal flaw in the Iran deal”, Human Events, March 2, 2015,
[2] NCRI-US, “NCRI-US: Tehran terrified of revelation of secret nuclear site”, PR Newswire, February 27, 2015,
[3] Jonathan Spyer & Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamim, “How Iraq Became a Proxy of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, The Tower, Issue 21, December 2014,, and
[4] MEMRITVVideos, “Iranian Missiles Sink Life-Size Model of U.S. Aircraft Carrier in Strait of Hormuz Navy Drill”, You-Tube, February 25, 2015,

Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker is founder and chairman of the board of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching the public and its elected officials of the need to promote genuine democratic institutions throughout the Middle East region as an antidote to the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism. He may be contacted at

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