A couple of hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu spoke to American Jews via a live webcast on Tuesday, President Obama met with Jewish leaders in the White House to sell the Iran nuke deal.
According to some present at the meeting, Obama behaved like a lawyer for Iran and said that a Congressional rejection of the nuclear agreement would lead to a war in which Iran would use asymmetrical warfare. The President also warned that rejection of the deal would lead to rockets on Tel Aviv.
“They will fight this asymmetrically. That means more support for terrorism, more Hezbollah rockets falling on Tel Aviv, I can assure that Israel will bear the brunt of the asymmetrical response that Iran will have to a military strike on its nuclear facilities,” Obama was quoted as saying.
In Obama’s thinking, the only alternative to the current deal is war because the regime in Iran would not return to the negotiation table to discuss changes in the deal. Opponents of the deal would then pressure the administration to launch a military strike on Iran–and that would be answered by Iranian rockets on Tel Aviv, the President argued.
The notion of war as the only alternative to the Vienna agreement has been rejected by Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders who say that the alternative to this deal is a much better deal. Netanyahu said yesterday that the current deal will bring war with Iran.
“This deal will bring war Iran can keep the deal or Iran can cheat on the deal either way, it will have the bomb, hundreds of bombs,” Netanyahu said. He also said Iran has been building intercontinental ballistic missiles in order “to hit you,” not Israel.
Obama claimed during the meeting in the White House that the critics of the deal are the same ones who proposed the U.S. should go to war with Iraq over its alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in 2002 and 2003. He singled out Netanyahu as one of these critics and noted that the Israeli PM was in favor of an American invasion of Iraq and now vehemently opposes the deal with Iran.
Obama said that he was ready to meet Netanyahu to discuss “in more than general terms” an increase of military assistance to Israel after the acceptance of the agreement. Netanyahu has ridiculed this proposal and argues that if the agreement is a good deal that will make the Middle East more secure (as Obama claims), there would be no need for an upgrade in US military assistance to Israel.
The President also complained about the AIPAC campaign against the deal and said that the lobby group used incorrect fact sheets last Friday during meetings with members of Congress. He had to spend 45 minutes with each congressman to dispute the claims in the AIPAC factsheet, the president said.
Today, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry stepped up their campaign to sell the deal to Congress and the American public.
The President delivered an address at American University in which he claimed that the whole world has expressed support for the deal with Iran except for Israel. This claim was immediately refuted by Ehud Yari, the Middle East expert of Israeli Channel 2, who said that Obama knows that all the Arab Gulf States and other Arab countries in the region oppose the deal.
The President also made light of the frequent chants during recent manifestations in Iran in which the masses called for the destruction of Israel and the United States.
Here’s what he said:
Just because hardliners chant death to America doesn’t mean that’s what all Iranians believe. Those hardliners have been opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.
The majority of the Iranian people have powerful incentives to urge their government to move in another direction. We should offer them that chance, that opportunity.
It should be noted that the “death to America” chanting is encouraged by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Al Khamenei, who recently praised the Iranian masses for the chants and even participated in them.
It is also unclear what Obama meant by saying that the Iranian people should be given the chance “to urge their government to move in another direction.” In 2009, the Iranian people voted for another direction and took to the streets when the regime denied them the reforms they wanted. The U.S. administration, however, remained passive when the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps violently oppressed the popular uprising.
Meanwhile, Kerry succeeded in drawing the ire of many in Israel today when he downplayed Iran’s repeated desire to destroy Israel.
In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, Kerry said that while “they have a fundamental ideological confrontation with Israel at this particular moment” that doesn’t necessarily mean “that translates into active steps.”
He then claimed that Iran has not yet ordered Hezbollah to use its arsenal of 80,000 missiles in Lebanon against Israel.
This claim too was factually incorrect. In his new published book, Palestine, Ayatollah Khamenei boasted that it was Iran that ordered Hezbollah and Hamas to start a missile war against Israel in 2006 and the summer of 2014.
The book lays out Khamenei’s vision of the slow but total annihilation of Israel, as Western Journalism reported on Monday.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth