(The Hill) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday claimed credit for inspiring caution on a nuclear deal with Iran through his address to Congress last week.
“After my speech to Congress, we heard over the weekend from the foreign ministers of a number of world powers that they are not compelled to reach a deal as soon as possible,” Netanyahu said Sunday before his weekly cabinet meeting, according to The Jerusalem Post. “I hope that these comments will be reflected in their actions.”
Netanyahu claimed victory after remarks made by Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday. Kerry admitted he had no urgency on an Iran bargain given the U.S. “had to get the right deal.”
“We will continue to exercise every means to prevent the world’s greatest supporter of terror from gaining the ability to create a weapon that will endanger the world – a weapon that first and foremost will be directed at us,” Netanyahu said Sunday.
Netanyahu warned a joint session of Congress on Tuesday that President Obama’s current strategy with Tehran could create a “nuclear nightmare.” He added that it “would all but guarantee” Iran a large nuclear weapons stockpile.
Obama panned Netanyahu’s address as “nothing new” on Tuesday. The two leaders disagree on Iran’s trustworthiness at the bargaining table and the danger it presents.
The speech sharply divided lawmakers in Congress. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) originally invited Netanyahu, drawing White House ire by not notifying the president first. Over 50 Democrats then boycotted the speech in protest of Boehner’s decision.
Negotiators from Iran and Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S. and Germany must strike a tentative agreement by March 31, and a final one by July 1, under self-imposed deadlines.