“Nixing the deal means restoring massive pressure on Iran, including crippling sanctions, until Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons capability,” he added. “Fixing the deal requires many things, among them inspecting military and any other site that is suspect, and penalizing Iran for every violation. But above all, fixing the deal means getting rid of the sunset clause.”
Netanyahu also warned of Iran’s ballistic missile development and growing military expansion in the Middle East, and said that instead of curbing its regional ambitions, the nuclear deal had only strengthened them.
“Many supporters of the nuclear deal naively believed that it would moderate Iran. It would make it a responsible member, so they said, of the international community,” he said. “I warned that when the sanctions on Iran would be removed, Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed, not joining the community of nations, but devouring nations, one after the other. And that’s precisely what Iran is doing today.”
He has never been short of self-belief. But Netanyahu spoke not as the embittered outsider protesting the world body’s history of anti-Israel bias, not as the friendless target of our region’s aggressors, and not as the exasperated lone voice despairing at his peers’ refusal to interpret current affairs with his wisdom.
Netanyahu spoke, rather, with the ultra-confident mien of a national leader who believes the tide of history is turning toward him and his country.
Another major cause of the prime minister’s undisguised sense of growing vindication, as he made plain in his speech, is the simple fact that he is finding a friendly welcome among numerous countries around the world that are gradually recognizing how much of a powerhouse Israel has become in areas central to their national well-being — innovation, technological advances, intel, counter-terrorism and more.
After Trump’s trip to Israel in May, unprecedentedly early in a US president’s term, and the visit of India’s Prime Minister Modi in July, it was the icing on the cake, on the eve of this speech, for Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to agree to a first-ever public meeting with him — the rare, overt acknowledgement of an Israeli-Arab partnership, complete with smiling photographs, proof positive of Netanyahu’s oft-stressed conviction that the rest of the region is gradually warming to the Jewish state.
Quoting Isaiah describing Israel as “a light unto the nations, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth,” Netanyahu sounded like the leader of a superpower. For all its innovative prowess and astonishing resilience, Israel isn’t quite that. But for the first time in his lengthy prime ministership, Netanyahu feels himself utterly allied to the leader of a superpower, as the swagger of his speech made emphatically clear — and entirely unconcerned by any reservations others may have about that US president.
But Mattis has hinted that the Pentagon has a few tricks up its sleeve that could prevent such a counterstrike. When asked during a Monday press conference, "is there any military option the U.S. can take with North Korea that would not put Seoul at grave risk?" Mattis responded in the affirmative.
"Yes, there are, but I will not go into details," said the retired four star general, who in the past had stated that war with North Korea would "involve the massive shelling of an ally's capital [Seoul], which is one of the most densely packed cities on earth."
"There are many military options, in concert with our allies that we will take to defend our allies and our own interests," Mattis went on to cryptically state.