Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s histrionics in the US Congress on March 3 was an implicit effort to overturn US foreign policy and goad Washington into a disastrous war with Iran. Riddled with misinformation and outright conspiracies about Iran’s nuclear programme and Iranian foreign policy, his attempt at undermining the Obama administration has thus far only served to reveal to the world how little he cares for the best interests of the US in the Middle East. “I was near tears during Netanyahu’s speech to Congress — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said after the speech.
The New York Times said of Netanyahu on March 5: “Netanyahu has always been an abrasive and unhelpful figure. In the George H.W. Bush presidency, James Baker was so fed up with Bibi that he banned him from the State Department building.” After Netanyahu’s address to Congress, President Barack Obama also stated that “there was nothing new” presented and that the Israeli PM “didn’t offer any viable alternative” to a peaceful diplomatic settlement with Iran.
The truth is there are many benefits to a US-Iran rapprochement. As US Secretary of State John Kerry has said, Iran and the US have ‘mutual interest’ in fighting Daesh a group that is clearly the biggest threat to international peace and security today. Iran is in fact now a leading force in helping Iraq defend its territorial integrity against the onslaught by the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” terrorist group. A nuclear deal will help the US and the world powers start exploring other possibilities for cooperation with Iran such as in preventing Iraq and Syria from completely falling apart, and even in efforts to stabilise Afghanistan. And these would only be for starters. The US and the world powers should not let Netanyahu to kill this chance.
Here are 17 points to understand about Netanyahu.
“Seventeen points to know about Netanyahu,” Hossein Mousavian, Gulf News, March 16, 2015.