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Netanyahu tells US Jews: Iran will get the bomb under deal

Netanyahu tells US Jews: Iran will get the bomb under deal
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE on Tuesday issued a dire warning about the nuclear deal with Iran directly to thousands of Jewish Americans.

In remarks to more than 10,000 people online, Netanyahu offered a stark vision of the agreement and increased his lobbying effort to have U.S. lawmakers kill it.

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“The nuclear deal with Iran doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb — it actually paves Iran’s path to the bomb,” he said in the address, which was organized by Jewish Federations across North America.

“Worse, it gives Iran two paths to a bomb: Iran can get to a bomb by keeping the deal or Iran can get to the deal by violating the deal.”

"Don’t let the world’s foremost terrorist regime get its hands on the worst most dangerous weapons," he added. "Oppose this bad deal."

The tone echoed that of previous remarks from Netanyahu, who has become perhaps the most outspoken critic of the multinational accord, which sets restrictions on Iran’s ability to build a nuclear bomb in exchange for rolling back sanctions on its oil and financial sectors. 

Netanyahu has repeatedly called on Americans to oppose the deal, ahead of a vote in Congress scheduled for September.

“This is simply not a partisan issue in Israel,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday. “Overwhelmingly, across the political spectrum, a huge majority of Israelis oppose this deal.”

“It shouldn’t be a partisan issue in the United States either.”

Even if Iran abided by the terms of the deal, Netanyahu said, it would have a “far easier” path to build a bomb when it ends in 10 to 15 years.

“Ten or 15 years pass in almost no time,” Netanyahu said. “It’s the blink of an eye.”

In vehemently opposing the deal, Netanyahu has become a sparring partner for President Obama, with whom he has thrown repeated barbs in recent weeks.

In his remarks on Tuesday, the Israeli leader took direct aim at some of the White House’s talking points on the agreement. Among other claims, supporters of the deal say that it is the best possible outcome for the globe, and that the only real alternative is a military strike on Iran.

“That’s utterly false. We in Israel don’t want war — we want peace,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

“The alternative to this bad deal is still no deal or a better deal. ... I don’t oppose this deal because I want war. I oppose this deal because I want to prevent war."

"And this deal will bring war that will spark a nuclear arms race in the region and it will feed Iran's terrorism and aggression that would make war, perhaps the most horrific war of all, far more likely," he added.

Netanyahu’s comments come just a few hours before Obama meets with Jewish community leaders in the White House's Cabinet Room, in an attempt to persuade them on the merits of the deal.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu downplayed the personal dynamic between him and Obama.

“This isn’t about me and it's not about President Obama,” he said. “It’s about the deal.”