President Barack Obama told U.S. Jewish leaders it was likely rockets would fall on Tel Aviv if a nuclear deal with Iran was blocked and military action ensued, one of them said on Wednesday.
In a separate appeal to American Jews, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday questioned Obama administration’s argument that the agreement was the only way to avoid eventual war with Iran.
Netanyahu is a fierce opponent of the July 14 accord,
The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives will vote on whether to reject the agreement when lawmakers return to Washington in September, party leaders have said, setting up a showdown with the president.
Greg Rosenbaum, one of 20 Jewish leaders who met Obama at White House on Tuesday, said on Israel Radio that Obama explained what striking Iran’s nuclear facilities would mean if the deal was scrapped.
“He said military action by the United States against Iran’s nuclear facilities is not going to result in Iran deciding to have a full-fledged war with the United States,” Rosenbaum quoted Obama as telling the forum.
Rosenbaum is of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
“You’ll see more support for terrorism. You’ll see Hezbollah rockets falling on Tel Aviv.
“This is what he said would happen if the U.S. had a military strike on Iran,” Rosenbaum said, referring to the Iranian-backed Lebanese guerrilla group and its long-range missile arsenal.
Netanyahu, in a webcast organised by Jewish groups in North America, reiterated Israel’s arguments that the nuclear deal was not enough to curb Iranian nuclear projects with bomb-making potential.
With surveys showing American Jewish opinion mixed on a dispute that has strained the U.S.-Israeli alliance, Netanyahu cast his opposition to the Iran deal as non-partisan.
“I don’t oppose this deal because I want war. I oppose this deal because I want to prevent war.
“This deal will bring war,” he said, cautioning that sanctions relief would result in a financial windfall for Iran that could help fund destabilising regional conflicts.
He declared that: “This is a time to stand up and be counted. Oppose this dangerous deal.” (Reuters/NAN)(NAN)