Netanyahu claims Iran, international community ignoring ‘weak’ Israeli government


Staff member
Netanyahu claims Iran, international community ignoring ‘weak’ Israeli government
Opposition leader says current leadership failing to effectively lobby world against Iran the way he did when he was PM
By TOI staff
6 December 2021

Opposition chairman Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Tuesday that Iran and the international community do not take the “weak” Israeli government seriously and are “ignoring” Jerusalem as it lobbies against a revival of the multilateral nuclear deal. “Iran sees the weakness of the government, and so does the international community that wants to return to the dangerous nuclear agreement, so they are ignoring the government,” Netanyahu said at a Likud faction meeting.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has not adopted a generally different approach on Iran to the one led by Netanyahu, whom he replaced last June. Bennett is opposed to a US return to the deal just as Netanyahu is and demanded — in a call last week with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken — that the US immediately walk out of talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the deal rather than capitulate to Iran’s “nuclear blackmail.”

The main difference in the new government’s policy has been a stated desire to avoid public spats with the US, which were more common as the original deal was being negotiated by the Obama administration. Netanyahu gave a 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress — coordinated behind the back of then-president Barak Obama — during which he lobbied against the agreement. The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed several months later.

The new government has expressed interest in voicing disagreements behind closed doors, though it was Bennett’s office that publicized a readout that included his harsh words against the negotiations in Vienna.