It’s not clear where these leaks about the deal are coming from, but in an interview on CNN, Sunday, Speaker Boehner told host Dana Bash that he thinks they “probably came out of the White House.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Sunday the framework Iranian nuclear agreement being sought by international negotiators, saying it was even worse than his country had feared.
Israel has mounted what it terms an “uphill battle” against an agreement that might ease sanctions on the Iranians while leaving them with a nuclear infrastructure with bomb-making potential. Tehran says its nuclear programme is peaceful.
“This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that,” Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem as the United States, five other world powers and Iran worked toward a March 31 deadline in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Noting advances made by Iranian-allied forces in Yemen and other Arab countries, Netanyahu accused the Islamic republic of trying to “conquer the entire Middle East” while moving toward nuclearisation.
“The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity, and must be stopped,” he said.
House Speaker Boehner will travel to Israel this week during the Congressional recess. On CNN’s “State of the Union”, Sunday, he told Dana Bash that his plans were made before the ongoing acrimony between Netanyahu and Obama became an open spat.
“There are serious issues and activities going on in the Middle East and I think it’s critically important for members of Congress to hear from foreign leaders, other governments, other parts of their government, to get a real handle on the challenges that we face there,” Boehner said.
Boehner argued that Netanyahu hasn’t crossed any lines and pointed out that Israel doesn’t really have a peace partner at the moment.
“Well, he doesn’t have a partner,” Boehner said. “How do you have a two-state solution when you don’t have a partner in that solution, when you don’t have a partner for peace, when you’ve got a — when the other state is vowing to wipe you off the face of the earth?”
Boehner also defended Netanyahu from criticism from Obama and the White House that has mounted over the last month.
“I think the animosity exhibited by our administration toward the prime minister of Israel is reprehensible,” Boehner said. “And I think that the pressure that they’ve put on him over the last four or five years have frankly pushed him to the point where he had to speak up.”
“I don’t blame him at all for speaking up,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was in Israel Sunday, already meeting with Netanyahu.
Standing beside Netanyahu, McConnell assured him that Congress would have to approve any deal.
The absence of a deal would lead to the Senate “ratcheting up sanctions,” he said.
CNS News reported:
The White House has repeatedly stated that the agreement being negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 will not require Senate advice and consent. It has also threatened to veto legislation providing for congressional approval, if it is sent to the president’s desk.
The deadline for a framework nuclear agreement is Tuesday night. Kerry, who has been negotiating with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in the Swiss city of Lausanne since Thursday, was joined at the weekend by his counterparts from the P5+1, the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.
Netanyahu, who in a controversial address before Congress early this month warned that a proposed nuclear deal would be dangerous for Israel, the region and the world, doubled down on the criticism on Sunday.
“This agreement, as it appears, confirms all of our concerns and even more so,” he said at a cabinet meeting.
Michael Goodman, The New York Post: Obama’s Race To Chaos:
Iran long held designs on a Shia Crescent and control over Arab lands, which helps explain why Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others counted themselves as our allies. They are furious as they watch Iran get a nuclear pass from Obama and a green light to expand its power.
The nuclear program will have the United Nations stamp of approval, as will Iranian control of four Arab capitals — Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad and now Sanaa, Yemen. Indeed, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry suggest Iran even could be an ally in the fight against Islamic State and al Qaeda. Already there has been coordination there, leading critics to say America is acting as the Iranian air force.
Israel, of course, sees the pattern as insane and a threat because Iran has threatened to wipe it off the face of the earth. In retaliation for complaining about the nuke deal, Obama denounces our ally and threatens to “re-evaluate” our support for the Jewish state.
But Israel is not alone, with our Sunni Arab allies also viewing Iran as their mortal enemy. Sen. John McCain quoted one of those Arab leaders as concluding, “We believe it is more dangerous to be a friend of America’s than an enemy.”
These are unprecedented developments, veering so far from the norm and happening so fast that consequences are piling up faster than they can be comprehended. Alliances built over decades are shattered in a relative flash, inviting aggression and endless conflict. The toxic brew of Islamic fanaticism and nuclear proliferation could ignite a world conflagration.
These are grim thoughts, expressed because it is impossible to imagine any other outcome of Iran’s rise.