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Netanyahu Speech: US Reacts

On March 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against a potential nuclear deal with Iran in an address to Congress in Washington, D.C. Administration officials and several Democratic lawmakers were critical of the speech. President Barack Obama claimed that Netanyahu "has not offered any kind of viable alternative" to diplomacy that would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Several Republican lawmakers, however, praised Netanyahu's speech. "It was the most powerful and significant speech I've seen by any foreign leader during the 22 years I have been in Congress," said Rep. Peter King (R-NY). The following are excerpted reactions from U.S. officials and lawmakers to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress. 

Administration Officials

President Barack Obama     
                   
“The Prime Minister appropriately pointed out that the bond between the United States of America is unbreakable, and on that point I thoroughly agree.  He also pointed out that Iran has been a dangerous regime and continues to engage in activities that are contrary to the interests of the United States, to Israel, and to the region.  And on that, we agree.  He also pointed out the fact that Iran has repeatedly threatened Israel and engaged in the most venomous of anti-Semitic statements.  And no one can dispute that.
 
“But on the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region, the Prime Minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives.  So let’s be clear about what exactly the central concern should be, both for the United States and for Israel.
 
“I’ve said since before I became President that one of my primary goals in foreign policy would be preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.  And with the help of Congress and our international partners, we constructed an extraordinarily effective sanctions regime that pressured Iran to come to the table to negotiate in a serious fashion.  They have now been negotiating over the last year, and during that period, Iran has, in fact, frozen its program, rolled back some of its most dangerous highly enriched uranium, and subjected itself to the kinds of verifications and inspections that we had not previously seen.  Keep in mind that when we shaped that interim deal, Prime Minister Netanyahu made almost the precise same speech about how dangerous that deal was going to be.  And yet, over a year later, even Israeli intelligence officers and, in some cases, members of the Israeli government, have to acknowledge that, in fact, it has kept Iran from further pursuing its nuclear program.
 
“Now, the deal that we are trying to negotiate that is not yet completed would cut off the different pathways for Iran to advance its nuclear capabilities.  It would roll back some elements of its program.  It would ensure that it did not have what we call a breakout capacity that was shorter than a year’s time.  And it would subject Iran to the most vigorous inspections and verifications regimes that have ever been put in place.
 
“And the alternative that the Prime Minister offers is no deal, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program, without us having any insight into what they’re doing, and without constraint.  And his essential argument is that if we just double down on sanctions, Iran won’t want to do that.
 
“Well, we have evidence from the past decade that sanctions alone are not sufficient to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions.  And if it, in fact, does not have some sense that sanctions will be removed, it will not have an interest in avoiding the path that it’s currently on.
 
“So the bottom line is this:  We don’t yet have a deal.  It may be that Iran cannot say yes to a good deal.  I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal than a bad deal. But if we’re successful in negotiating, then, in fact, this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  Nothing else comes close.  Sanctions won’t do it.  Even military action would not be as successful as the deal that we have put forward.
 
“And I think it is very important not to be distracted by the nature of the Iranian regime’s ambitions when it comes to territory or terrorism -- all issues which we share a concern with Israel about and are working consistently with Israel on.  Because we know that if, in fact, they obtain a nuclear weapon, all those problems would be worse.
 
“So we’re staying focused on the central issue here:  How do we prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.  The path that we’ve proposed, if successful, by far is the best way to do that.  That’s demonstrable.  And Prime Minister Netanyahu has not offered any kind of viable alternative that would achieve the same verifiable mechanism to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
 
“So I would urge the members of Congress who were there to continue to express their strong support for Israel’s security, to continue to express their strong interest in providing the assistance Israel needs to repel attacks.  I think it's important for members of Congress, on a bipartisan basis, to be unified in pushing back against terrorism in the region and the destabilizing efforts that Iran may have engaged in with our partners.  Those are all things in which this administration and Israel agree.
 
“But when it comes to this nuclear deal, let’s wait until there’s actually a deal on the table that Iran has agreed to, at which point everybody can evaluate it; we don’t have to speculate.  And what I can guarantee is that if it's a deal I’ve signed off on, I will be able to prove that it is the best way for us to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
 
“And for us to pass up on that potential opportunity would be a great mistake.  It's not one that I intend to make, and I will take that case to every member of Congress once we actually have a deal.”
—March 3, 2015 in comments to the press
 
“[W]e (Israel and the United States) actually share a goal, which is making sure Iran does not have a nuclear weapon. That’s something that I committed to when I was still a senator. It is a solemn pledge I made before I was elected president and everything that I’ve done over the course of the last several years in relation to Iran has been in pursuit of that policy. There is a substantial disagreement in terms of how to achieve that. And what it boils down to is what’s the best way to ensure that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon.
 
“Prime Minister Netanyahu thinks that the best way to do that is either through doubling down on more sanctions or through military action, ensuring that Iran has absolutely no enrichment capabilities whatsoever. And there’s no expert on Iran or nuclear proliferation around the world that seriously thinks that Iran is going to respond to additional sanctions by eliminating its nuclear program.
 
“What we’ve said from the start is by organizing a strong sanctions regime, what we can do is bring Iran to the table. And by bringing Iran to the table, force them to have a serious negotiation in which a) we are able to see exactly what’s going on inside of Iran b) we’re able to create what we call a breakout period, a timeline where we know if they were to try to get a nuclear weapon it would take them a certain amount of time.
 
“And the deal that we’re trying to negotiate is to make sure that there’s at least a year between us seeing them try to get a nuclear weapon and them actually being able to obtain one.
“And as long as we’ve got that one-year breakout capacity, that ensures us that we can take military action to stop them if they were stop it.
 
“Now, we’re still in the midst of negotiations. What I’ve said consistently is, we should let these negotiations play out. If, in fact, Iran is agree, willing to agree to double-digit years of keeping their program where it is right now and, in fact, rolling back elements of it that currently exist …
 
“Now, Iran may not agree to the rigorous inspection demands that we’re insisting on. They may not agree to the low levels of enrichment capabilities they would have to maintain to ensure that their breakout is at least a year. But if they do agree to it, it would be far more effective in controlling their nuclear program than any military action we could take, any military action Israel could take and far more effective than sanctions will be.
 
“And we know that because during the period in which we applied sanctions for over a decade, Iran went from about 300 or a couple of hundred centrifuges to tens of thousands of centrifuges in response to sanctions.”
—March 2, 2015 in an interview with Reuters
 
Democrats

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
 
“The unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel are rooted in our shared values, our common ideals and mutual interests.  Ours is a deep and abiding friendship that will always reach beyond party. Americans stand shoulder to shoulder with the Israeli people.  The state of Israel stands as the greatest political achievement of the 20th century, and the United States will always have an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.
 
“That is why, as one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.
 
“Today, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated something we all agree upon: a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable to both our countries.  We have all said that a bad deal is worse than no deal, and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons is the bedrock of our foreign policy and national security.  As President Obama has said consistently, all options are on the table for preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.”

— March 3, 2015 in a statement

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA)
 
“This is a prime minister who's never seen a war he didn't want our country to fight.”
— March 3, 2015 to the press
 
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY)
 
"This speech was...fear-mongering at its ultimate."
 
"Prime MInister Netanyahu basically said that the only acceptable deal was a perfect deal, or an ideal deal."
— March 3, 2015, according to the press
 
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
 
"This speech is high theater for a re-election campaign in Israel and a political tool wielded against our president and his administration by the speaker of the House."
— March 3, 2015, according to the press
 
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
 
"I have always believed that the best solution is a strong and verifiable diplomatic deal, but whether any deal is truly verifiable and achievable is a serious question that needs to be answered. I am hopeful a good deal can be made, and I have no doubt Congress will pass sanctions quickly if the right deal can't be reached."
— March 3, 2015, according to the press
 
Republicans

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
 
The speech was “phenomenal” in clearly stating “why this deal is going to be very damaging for world security, U.S. interests in Israel.”
— March 3, 2015 to the press
 
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

The speech was “electrifying.”
— March 3, 2015 to the press
 
"It was the most powerful and significant speech I've seen by any foreign leader during the 22 years I have been in Congress."
— March 3, 2015 to the press
 
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
 
"The speech today by Prime Minister Netanyahu was Churchillian in its clarity and in its resolve to respond to the greatest national security threat on the face of the planet."
— March 3, 2015, according to the press

Netanyahu Speech: The Text

On March 3, 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized a potential nuclear deal with Iran in an address to Congress in Washington, D.C. “We've been told that no deal is better than a bad deal,” he said. “Well, this is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal. We're better off without it.” Netanyahu’s visit was controversial, since House Speaker John Boehner reportedly invited the prime minister without consulting the White House. On February 25, National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Netanyahu’s visit “injected a degree of partisanship” into the nuclear negotiations. More than 50 Democratic lawmakers decided not to attend the speech. The following are excerpts from Netanyahu’s address.

My friends, I've come here today because, as prime minister of Israel, I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons.

We're an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we'll read the Book of Esther. We'll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.

Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology. He tweets that Israel must be annihilated -- he tweets. You know, in Iran, there isn't exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed. 

For those who believe that Iran threatens the Jewish state, but not the Jewish people, listen to Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, Iran's chief terrorist proxy. He said: If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of chasing them down around the world. 

But Iran's regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran's regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world. To understand just how dangerous Iran would be with nuclear weapons, we must fully understand the nature of the regime. 
 
The people of Iran are very talented people. They're heirs to one of the world's great civilizations. But in 1979, they were hijacked by religious zealots -- religious zealots who imposed on them immediately a dark and brutal dictatorship. 

That year, the zealots drafted a constitution, a new one for Iran. It directed the revolutionary guards not only to protect Iran's borders, but also to fulfill the ideological mission of jihad. The regime's founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, exhorted his followers to "export the revolution throughout the world."

I'm standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America's founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran's founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.

Iran's goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world's oil supply.
 
Just last week, near Hormuz, Iran carried out a military exercise blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier. That's just last week, while they're having nuclear talks with the United States. But unfortunately, for the last 36 years, Iran's attacks against the United States have been anything but mock. And the targets have been all too real. 

Iran took dozens of Americans hostage in Tehran, murdered hundreds of American soldiers, Marines, in Beirut, and was responsible for killing and maiming thousands of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Beyond the Middle East, Iran attacks America and its allies through its global terror network. It blew up the Jewish community center and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. It helped Al Qaida bomb U.S. embassies in Africa. It even attempted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, right here in Washington, D.C.

In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran's aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow.

So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations.

We must all stand together to stop Iran's march of conquest, subjugation and terror.

Now, two years ago, we were told to give President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif a chance to bring change and moderation to Iran. Some change! Some moderation!
 
Rouhani's government hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists and executes even more prisoners than before.

Last year, the same Zarif who charms Western diplomats laid a wreath at the grave of Imad Mughniyeh. Imad Mughniyeh is the terrorist mastermind who spilled more American blood than any other terrorist besides Osama bin Laden. I'd like to see someone ask him a question about that.

Iran's regime is as radical as ever, its cries of "Death to America," that same America that it calls the "Great Satan," as loud as ever.

Now, this shouldn't be surprising, because the ideology of Iran's revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that's why this regime will always be an enemy of America.

Don't be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn't turn Iran into a friend of America.

Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.

In this deadly game of thrones, there's no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don't share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
 
So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.

The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember -- I'll say it one more time -- the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can't let that happen.

But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them. 

Let me explain why. While the final deal has not yet been signed, certain elements of any potential deal are now a matter of public record. You don't need intelligence agencies and secret information to know this. You can Google it. 
 
Absent a dramatic change, we know for sure that any deal with Iran will include two major concessions to Iran.

The first major concession would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, providing it with a short break-out time to the bomb. Break-out time is the time it takes to amass enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

According to the deal, not a single nuclear facility would be demolished. Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning. Thousands more would be temporarily disconnected, but not destroyed.

Because Iran's nuclear program would be left largely intact, Iran's break-out time would be very short -- about a year by U.S. assessment, even shorter by Israel's.

And if -- if Iran's work on advanced centrifuges, faster and faster centrifuges, is not stopped, that break-out time could still be shorter, a lot shorter.

True, certain restrictions would be imposed on Iran's nuclear program and Iran's adherence to those restrictions would be supervised by international inspectors. But here's the problem. You see, inspectors document violations; they don't stop them.

Inspectors knew when North Korea broke to the bomb, but that didn't stop anything. North Korea turned off the cameras, kicked out the inspectors. Within a few years, it got the bomb.

Now, we're warned that within five years North Korea could have an arsenal of 100 nuclear bombs.

Like North Korea, Iran, too, has defied international inspectors. It's done that on at least three separate occasions -- 2005, 2006, 2010. Like North Korea, Iran broke the locks, shut off the cameras. 
 
Now, I know this is not gonna come a shock -- as a shock to any of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them. 

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, said again yesterday that Iran still refuses to come clean about its military nuclear program. Iran was also caught -- caught twice, not once, twice -- operating secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom, facilities that inspectors didn't even know existed. 

Right now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we don't know about, the U.S. and Israel. As the former head of inspections for the IAEA said in 2013, he said, "If there's no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn't have one." Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. And that's why the first major concession is a source of great concern. It leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and relies on inspectors to prevent a breakout. That concession creates a real danger that Iran could get to the bomb by violating the deal.

But the second major concession creates an even greater danger that Iran could get to the bomb by keeping the deal. Because virtually all the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will automatically expire in about a decade. 
 
Now, a decade may seem like a long time in political life, but it's the blink of an eye in the life of a nation. It's a blink of an eye in the life of our children. We all have a responsibility to consider what will happen when Iran's nuclear capabilities are virtually unrestricted and all the sanctions will have been lifted. Iran would then be free to build a huge nuclear capacity that could product many, many nuclear bombs. 

Iran's Supreme Leader says that openly. He says, Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount -- 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision. 

My long-time friend, John Kerry, Secretary of State, confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity when the deal expires. 

Now I want you to think about that. The foremost sponsor of global terrorism could be weeks away from having enough enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons and this with full international legitimacy. 

And by the way, if Iran's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table. Well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the earth, including to every part of the United States. 
 
So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb; it paves Iran's path to the bomb.

So why would anyone make this deal? Because they hope that Iran will change for the better in the coming years, or they believe that the alternative to this deal is worse?

Well, I disagree. I don't believe that Iran's radical regime will change for the better after this deal. This regime has been in power for 36 years, and its voracious appetite for aggression grows with each passing year. This deal would wet appetite -- would only wet Iran's appetite for more.

Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it's under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?

Why should Iran's radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world's: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?

This is a question that everyone asks in our region. Israel's neighbors -- Iran's neighbors know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it's been given a clear path to the bomb.
 
And many of these neighbors say they'll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own. So this deal won't change Iran for the better; it will only change the Middle East for the worse. A deal that's supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet.

This deal won't be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox. 

If anyone thinks -- if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we'll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've come here today to tell you we don't have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don't have to gamble with our future and with our children's future.

We can insist that restrictions on Iran's nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.

Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East.

Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.
And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.

Thank you.

If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.

If Iran changes its behavior, the restrictions would be lifted. If Iran doesn't change its behavior, the restrictions should not be lifted.

If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.

My friends, what about the argument that there's no alternative to this deal, that Iran's nuclear know-how cannot be erased, that its nuclear program is so advanced that the best we can do is delay the inevitable, which is essentially what the proposed deal seeks to do?

Well, nuclear know-how without nuclear infrastructure doesn't get you very much. A racecar driver without a car can't drive. A pilot without a plan can't fly. Without thousands of centrifuges, tons of enriched uranium or heavy water facilities, Iran can't make nuclear weapons.

Iran's nuclear program can be rolled back well-beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime, especially given the recent collapse in the price of oil.

Now, if Iran threatens to walk away from the table -- and this often happens in a Persian bazaar -- call their bluff. They'll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.

And by maintaining the pressure on Iran and on those who do business with Iran, you have the power to make them need it even more.
 
My friends, for over a year, we've been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It's a very bad deal. We're better off without it.

Now we're being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That's just not true. 

The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.

A better deal that doesn't leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short break-out time. A better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in place until Iran's aggression ends. 

A better deal that won't give Iran an easy path to the bomb. A better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country has a greater stake -- no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat.

Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war. 
 
The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.

You don't have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire. 

My friend, standing up to Iran is not easy. Standing up to dark and murderous regimes never is. With us today is Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel. 

Elie, your life and work inspires to give meaning to the words, "never again."

And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Not to sacrifice the future for the present; not to ignore aggression in the hopes of gaining an illusory peace. 

But I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.

We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.

This is why -- this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.

But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel.

I know that you stand with Israel.

You stand with Israel, because you know that the story of Israel is not only the story of the Jewish people but of the human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history's horrors.

Facing me right up there in the gallery, overlooking all of us in this (inaudible) chamber is the image of Moses. Moses led our people from slavery to the gates of the Promised Land.
And before the people of Israel entered the land of Israel, Moses gave us a message that has steeled our resolve for thousands of years. I leave you with his message today, (SPEAKING IN HEBREW), "Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them."

My friends, may Israel and America always stand together, strong and resolute. May we neither fear nor dread the challenges ahead. May we face the future with confidence, strength and hope.

May God bless the state of Israel and may God bless the United States of America.

Click here for the full transcript
 

AIPAC Conference: Officials on Iran

On March 2, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned attendees of the 2015 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference that Iran “vows to annihilate Israel.” If Tehran develops nuclear weapons, “it would have the means to achieve that goal,” he said in Washington, D.C. Netanyahu acknowledged that Washington and Jerusalem “disagree on the best way to prevent Iran from developing those weapons.” Netanyahu has criticized how diplomacy is being conducted between Iran and the world’s six major powers on the nuclear issue.

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power also delivered remarks, emphasizing the strong relationship between Israel and the United States. Rice, however, also expressed support for the ongoing nuclear negotiations. The speeches came one day before Netanyahu’s address to Congress, in which he argued that the deal being negotiated between Iran and the world’s six major powers is inadequate and “paves Iran’s path to the bomb.” The following are excerpts from the three speeches.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
 


First, let me clarify what is not the purpose of that speech. My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama or the esteemed office that he holds. I have great respect for both.

I deeply appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel, security cooperation, intelligence sharing, support at the U.N., and much more, some things that I, as prime minister of Israel, cannot even divulge to you because it remains in the realm of the confidences that are kept between an American president and an Israeli prime minister. I am deeply grateful for this support, and so should you be.

My speech is also not intended to inject Israel into the American partisan debate. An important reason why our alliance has grown stronger decade after decade is that it has been championed by both parties and so it must remain.

Both Democratic and Republican presidents have worked together with friends from both sides of the aisle in Congress to strengthen Israel and our alliance between our two countries, and working together, they have provided Israel with generous military assistance and missile defense spending. We've seen how important that is just last summer.

Working together, they've made Israel the first free trade partner of America 30 years ago and its first official strategic partner last year. They've backed Israel in defending itself at war and in our efforts to achieve a durable peace with our neighbors. Working together has made Israel stronger; working together has made our alliance stronger. And that's why the last thing that anyone who cares about Israel, the last thing that I would want is for Israel to become a partisan issue. And I regret that some people have misperceived my visit here this week as doing that. Israel has always been a bipartisan issue.

Israel should always remain a bipartisan issue. Ladies and gentlemen, the purpose of my address to Congress tomorrow is to speak up about a potential deal with Iran that could threaten the survival of Israel. Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Look at that graph. Look at that map. And you see on the wall, it shows Iran training, arming, dispatching terrorists on five continents. Iran envelopes the entire world with its tentacles of terror. This is what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran would do with nuclear weapons.

And this same Iran vows to annihilate Israel. If it develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to achieve that goal. We must not let that happen.

And as prime minister of Israel, I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there's still time to avert them. For 2000 years, my people, the Jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless. We were utterly powerless against our enemies who swore to destroy us. We suffered relentless persecution and horrific attacks. We could never speak on our own behalf, and we could not defend ourselves.

Well, no more, no more.

The days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilate us, those days are over. Today in our sovereign state of Israel, we defend ourselves. And being able to defend ourselves, we ally with others, most importantly, the United States of America, to defend our common civilization against common threats.

In our part of the world and increasingly, in every part of the world, no one makes alliances with the weak. You seek out those who have strength, those who have resolve, those who have the determination to fight for themselves. That's how alliances are formed.

So we defend ourselves and in so doing, create the basis of a broader alliance.

And today, we are no longer silent; today, we have a voice. And tomorrow, as prime minister of the one and only Jewish state, I plan to use that voice.

I plan to speak about an Iranian regime that is threatening to destroy Israel, that's devouring country after country in the Middle East, that's exporting terror throughout the world and that is developing, as we speak, the capacity to make nuclear weapons, lots of them.

Ladies and gentlemen, Israel and the United States agree that Iran should not have nuclear weapons, but we disagree on the best way to prevent Iran from developing those weapons. Now disagreements among allies are only natural from time to time, even among the closest of allies. Because they're important differences between America and Israel. The United States of America is a large country, one of the largest. Israel is a small country, one of the smallest. America lives in one of the world's safest neighborhoods. Israel lives in the world's most dangerous neighborhood. America is the strongest power in the world. Israel is strong, but it's much more vulnerable. American leaders worry about the security of their country. Israeli leaders worry about the survival of their country.
 
Click here for the full transcript, or watch the speech here

National Security Advisor Susan Rice
 

 
Israel’s security—our mutual security—is also at the heart of one of President Obama’s most important foreign policy objectives: ensuring that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.  As President Obama has repeated many times: we are keeping all options on the table to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.  As he said in Jerusalem: “Iran must not get a nuclear weapon. This is not a danger that can be contained.”  And he added, “America will do what we must to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”
 
President Obama said it.  He meant it.  And those are his orders to us all. 
 
That is still the way we see the danger of a nuclear Iran today.  Given Iran’s support for terrorism, the risk of a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the danger to the entire global non-proliferation regime, an Iran with a nuclear weapon would not just be a threat to Israel – it’s an unacceptable threat to the United States of America.
 
We understand the unique concerns of our Israeli friends and partners.  In Jerusalem, President Obama made plain: “when I consider Israel’s security, I also think about a people who have a living memory of the Holocaust, faced with the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iranian government that has called for Israel’s destruction.  It’s no wonder Israelis view this as an existential threat.  But this is not simply a challenge for Israel; it is a danger for the entire world, including the United States.”
 
I want to be very clear: a bad deal is worse than no deal.  And, if that is the choice, there will be no deal.
 
Negotiations continue.  And, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.  As of today, significant gaps remain between the international community and Iran.  I’m not going to get into details about ongoing negotiations – nor should sensitive details of an ongoing negotiation be discussed in public.  But, I do want to make five key points about our approach to the negotiation.
 
First, with the Joint Plan of Action, we have already succeeded in halting Iran’s nuclear program and rolling it back in key areas.  Let’s recall what has been achieved over the last year.  Iran is doing away with its existing stockpile of its most highly enriched uranium.  Iran has capped its stockpile of low enriched uranium.  Iran has not constructed additional enrichment facilities.  Iran has not installed or operated new centrifuges, including its next-generation models.  Iran has stopped construction at its potential plutonium reactor at Arak.  In short, Iran is further away from a nuclear weapon than it was a year ago—and that makes the world safer, including Israel.
 
Moreover, we’re not taking anything on trust.  What matters are Iran’s actions, not its words.  That’s why, as part of the Joint Plan of Action, we’ve insisted upon—and achieved—unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear program.  Before the Joint Plan, inspections happened only every few weeks, sometimes every few months.  Today, the International Atomic Energy Agency has daily access at Iran’s key nuclear sites at Natanz and Fordow, verifying that Iran is meeting its commitments.  If I can paraphrase, President Reagan, with a twist, our approach is “distrust and verify.”
 
Second, we’ve kept the pressure on Iran.  I know this firsthand because, when I was U.N. ambassador, President Obama personally directed me to make sure that the Security Council’s sanctions had bite—and they do.  Today, even with limited sanctions relief, Iran’s economy remains isolated from the international finance system and cut off from the vast majority of its foreign currency reserves.  Iran’s oil exports have dropped almost 60 percent since 2012.  The rial has depreciated by more than 50 percent.  And, Iran’s overall GDP has shrunk by almost 10 percent.  All told, sanctions have deprived Iran of more than $200 billion in lost oil revenues. 
 
But sanctions are a tool, not an end in themselves.  The question now, after the pressure that we and our partners have brought to bear, is whether we can verify that Iran cannot pursue a nuclear weapon.  The question now is whether we can achieve a comprehensive deal.  A good deal. 
 
This is my third point—a good deal is one that would verifiably cut off every pathway for Iran to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon.  Every single one. 
 
Any deal must prevent Iran from developing weapons-grade plutonium at Arak, or anywhere else.
 
Any deal must prevent Iran from enriching uranium at its nuclear facility at Fordow—a site we uncovered buried deep underground and revealed to the world in 2009.
 
Any deal must increase the time it takes Iran to reach breakout capacity—the time it would take to produce a single bomb’s worth of weapons-grade uranium.  Today, experts suggest Iran’s breakout window is just two to three months.  We seek to extend that to at least one year. 
 
Any deal must ensure frequent and intrusive inspections at Iran’s nuclear sites—including the uranium mills that produce the material fed into Iran’s enrichment and conversion facilities—to create a multi-layered transparency regime that provides the international community with the confidence it demands.  That’s the best way to prevent Iran from pursuing a covert path to a nuclear weapon—to stop Iran from working toward a bomb in secret.
 
Any deal must address the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.  And, going forward, we will not accept a deal that fails to provide the access we need to ensure that Iran’s program is peaceful.  
 
And, any deal must last more than a decade—with additional provisions ensuring greater transparency into Iran’s program for an even longer period of time. 
 
That’s what we’re working toward—a good, long-term, comprehensive deal that verifiably prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. 
 
This brings me to my fourth point —we cannot let a totally unachievable ideal stand in the way of a good deal.  I know that some of you will be urging Congress to insist that Iran forego its domestic enrichment capacity entirely.  But, as desirable as that would be, it is neither realistic nor achievable.  Even our closest international partners in the P5+1 do not support denying Iran the ability ever to pursue peaceful nuclear energy.  If that is our goal, our partners will abandon us, undermining the sanctions we have imposed so effectively together.  Simply put, that is not a viable negotiating position.  Nor is it even attainable.  The plain fact is, no one can make Iran unlearn the scientific and nuclear expertise it already possesses. 
 
We must also understand what will happen if these negotiations collapse. I know that some argue we should just impose sanctions and walk away.  But let’s remember that sanctions have never stopped Iran from advancing its program.  So here’s what’s likely to happen without a deal.  Iran will install and operate advanced centrifuges.  Iran will seek to fuel its reactor in Arak.  Iran will rebuild its uranium stockpile.  And, we'll lose the unprecedented inspections and transparency we have today.  
 
Congress has played a hugely important role in helping to build our sanctions on Iran, but they shouldn’t play the spoiler now.  Additional sanctions or restrictive legislation enacted during the negotiation would blow up the talks, divide the international community, and cause the United States to be blamed for the failure to reach a deal—putting us in a much weaker position and endangering the sanctions regime itself.  Meanwhile, the Iranians are well aware that if they walk away from a deal, Congress will pass new sanctions immediately—and President Obama will support them.
 
So, if Iran refuses to resolve this matter diplomatically—and is clearly to blame for that failure—its isolation will only increase.  The costs will continue to grow. 
 
Finally, I know that some question a deal of any duration.  But, it has always been clear that the pursuit of an agreement of indefinite duration would result in no agreement at all.  The question is, what is the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?  A deal that extends for a decade or more would accomplish this goal better than any other course of action – longer, by far, than military strikes, which would only set back Iran’s program for a fraction of the time.  And, at the end of any deal, Iran would still be required to offer comprehensive access to its nuclear facilities and to provide the international community the assurance that it was not pursuing nuclear weapons.  And, if it failed to do so, we would have the ability to make our own decisions about how to move forward, just as we do today.  There’s simply no alternative that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon better—or longer—than the type of deal we seek. 
 
We can always bring consequences to bear for the sake of our shared security—harsh consequences.  But, precisely because this is such a serious issue, we must weigh the different options before us and choose the best one.  Sound bites won’t stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.  Strong diplomacy – backed by pressure – can.  And, if diplomacy fails, let’s make it clear to the world that it is Iran’s responsibility.
 
One final word on Iran: even if we succeed in neutralizing the nuclear threat from Iran, we will still face other threats—Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, its gross violations of human rights, its efforts to destabilize neighboring states, its support for Assad and Hamas and Hezbollah, its intolerable threats against Israel.  Our sanctions against Iran on these issues will remain in place.  We will continue to counter Iran and the full range of threats it poses.  Tehran must understand—the United States will never, ever waver in the defense of our security or the security of our allies and partners, including Israel. 
 
Click here for the full transcript
 
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power
 
Our commitments to our partnership with Israel are bedrock commitments – rooted in shared, fundamental values, cemented through decades of bipartisan reinforcement. This partnership should never be politicized, and it cannot and will not be tarnished or broken. [Applause] Now, debating the most effective policy, both within our respective democracies and among partners, is more than useful, it is a necessary part of arriving at informed decisions; politicizing that process is not. The stakes are too high for that. [Applause]
 
On policy, the negotiations that we and our partners have entered into with Iran – negotiations aimed centrally at denying Iran a nuclear weapon – have generated reasonable debate. My colleague and dear friend, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, will speak in depth about Iran later tonight. But I am struck that when I read about alleged policy differences on the Iran nuclear negotiations, I rarely see mention of the foundational strategic agreement between the United States and Israel – an agreement that undergirds our entire engagement with Iran. The United States of America will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period. [ Applause]
 
Now, let me put President Obama’s commitment to denying Iran a nuclear weapon in context. The Obama administration has invested more than $20 billion dollars in foreign military financing for Israel – far more than for any other country, and more than at any previous time in the history of the U.S.-Israel relationship. [Applause] And – and the President not only committed to denying Iran a nuclear weapon before negotiations with Iran began, he has reiterated the same commitment during negotiations, and he will keep his commitment whether negotiations collapse or produce a diplomatic solution that meets our bottom lines.
 
Maybe the President has made this point so often that it isn’t heard in the same way anymore, but we have to keep repeating it – talks, no talks, agreement, no agreement – the United States will take whatever steps are necessary to protect our national security and that of our closest allies. [Applause] We believe diplomacy is the preferred route to secure our shared aim; but if diplomacy should fail, we know the stakes of a nuclear-armed Iran as well as everyone here. We will not let it happen.
 
There will never be a sunset on America’s commitment to Israel’s security. Never. [Applause]
 
Click here for the full transcript
 

UN Report: Human Rights Concerns in Iran

Iran failed to address key human rights issues in 2014, according to a new report from the U.N. Office of the Secretary General to the U.N. Human Rights Council. At least 500 people were executed between January and November 2014, many of whom were not given a fair trial. The report also highlighted Iran’s treatment of religious and ethnic minorities, citing the destruction of a Baha’i cemetery in Shiraz by the Revolutionary Guards. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized the report for having “double standards.” The following are excerpts from the full report.

Death penalty
 
The Secretary-General continues to express his alarm at the increasing number of death sentences handed down and executions carried out in the Islamic Republic of Iran. United Nations human rights mechanisms have repeatedly and consistently expressed their great concern at this persistent trend, and have urged the Government to end executions. A total of 41 of the 291 recommendations made to the Islamic Republic of Iran during its second cycle of universal periodic review concerned the death penalty (A/HRC/28/12).
 
On 28 October 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights publicly expressed serious concern at the large number of executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and called upon the authorities to immediately institute a moratorium on the death penalty. At least 500 people are believed to have been executed from January to November of 2014, with some sources suggesting a considerably higher number.
 
Situation of women
 
The Secretary-General welcomes the gains made in higher education and health for women, as well as the efforts to integrate women in the socioeconomic sphere. Some of the positive steps taken include the establishment of a foundation for entrepreneurial development of women and cooperatives to alleviate poverty and female groups that assist female heads of households and provide self-employment loans and grants to women (see A/C.3/69/9, annex). In their comments on the present report, the Iranian authorities pointed out that measures to promote the political and socioeconomic status of women had been taken. They included the appointment of women affairs advisers to all ministries and governmental organizations, the establishment of a women and children’s rights protection centre in the judiciary, the appointment of female advisers to family courts, legislative reforms that promote the status of women and the creation of special funds in the Ministry of Justice for female victims of violence.
 
Despite the above-mentioned achievements, women only account for 16 per cent of the labour force (A/69/356, para. 64). According to the Global Gender Gap Index for 2014 of the World Economic Forum, the Islamic Republic of Iran ranked no. 137 out of 142 countries. Furthermore, men earn 4.8 times more than women (A/69/356, para. 67). With regard to women in ministerial positions, the Index ranked the Islamic Republic of Iran no. 105 out of 142 countries, and there are few women in managerial or decision-making roles (A/69/356, para. 69) – despite the emphasis that article 3 of the Charter of Women’s Rights and Responsibilities in the Islamic Republic of Iran places on the right of women to equal wages, privileges and work conditions. The draft comprehensive population and family excellence plan, reportedly currently being considered by parliament, would further restrict the participation of women in the labour force. Preference for employment opportunities would be given, in order, to men with children, men without children, then lastly to women with children. Furthermore, teaching positions in higher education and research institutions would be reserved for qualified married applicants (A/69/356, para. 70).
 
Freedom of expression
 
The continued crackdown on media professionals, the pervasive restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression, including the closure of newspapers and magazines, and the ongoing monitoring, filtering and blocking of websites that carry political news and analysis raise great concern. Individuals who have expressed their views on social media or appeared in videos have been targeted and prosecuted. Some 5 million websites are currently blocked, and the Government is reportedly planning to implement “smart filtering”, which would further restrict content on the Internet (A/69/356, para. 22). The creation of a “national Internet”, announced in 2006, would further restrict users’ access to the global Internet. On 21 September, the Prosecutor General urged the Minister for Communication and Information Technology to immediately block messaging services such as Viber, Tango and WhatsApp, which, he claimed, were being used to disseminate derogatory remarks about the Supreme Leader. According to a report on the website of the news agency Khabaronline (www.khabaronline.ir), on 12 September the Head of the State cyber-police force warned that private messages on Viber and WhatsApp could be monitored and that persons circulating “insulting comments” about the Supreme Leader and other officials would be “dealt with” accordingly.
 
Freedom of assembly
 
On 31 October 2014, in his statement to the Human Rights Council, Dr. Mohammad Javad Larijani reported on the proactive role played by more than 17,000 civil society groups in the Islamic Republic of Iran in the promotion and protection of human rights. He also stated that more than 230 political parties, 400 trade unions and specialized associations, as well as 60 religiously affiliated societies, were active in the country.

Treatment of religious and ethnic minorities
 
The Secretary-General remains concerned at reports about the situation of religious and ethnic minorities, which continue to endure abuses and discrimination. The President and other high-profile officials have publicly pledged to ensure equality, to uphold freedom of belief and religion, to extend protection to all religious groups and to amend legislation that discriminates against minority groups. In their comments on the present report, the Iranian authorities pointed out that the Constitution provides equal rights to all and that no person is prosecuted on the basis of their affiliation to a particular religious or ethnic minority group.
 
Reports of incitement targeting the Baha’i faith and its adherents, and the destruction of sites of religious and cultural value, such as cemeteries, are of serious concern. In a press statement issued on 4 September 2014, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief urged the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take urgent action to stop the destruction of a Baha’i cemetery in Shiraz by Revolutionary Guards. He stressed that attacks on Baha’i cemeteries were in violation of the freedom of religion or belief, because they were an essential part of how people exercise and manifest their right to freedom of religion or belief and their significance goes beyond their physical presence. In their comments on the present report, the Iranian authorities pointed out that burial in the cemetery had been banned since 1981 and that a substitute cemetery had been designated for Baha’is in Shiraz. They added that the destruction of the cemetery was based on public health reasons, not to denigrate the Baha’i faith.
 
Click here for the full report
 
Tags: Reports

Poll: Majority of Americans Back Nuke Deal

Americans broadly support direct negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program, according to a new poll by CNN and ORC International. But they are split across party lines regarding the open letter to Iran’s leaders signed by 47 Republican senators. The letter warned that a nuclear deal signed during President Barack Obama’s tenure could be revoked by the next president or modified by a future Congress. The following are key results from the survey.

•68 percent of Americans support direct negotiations, including 77 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of independents
 
•29 percent oppose direct negotiations
 
• 49 percent say the letter sent by 47 Republican senators to Iran’s leaders went too far, including 67 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents
 
•39 percent say the GOP letter was an appropriate response to the way negotiations were going, including 52 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of independents
 
• 18 percent think the GOP letter helped U.S. efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons while 32 percent think the letter hurt those efforts
 
• 44 percent say the letter had no impact on negotiations
 
The poll, conducted March 13-15, included phone interviews with 1,009 Americans.
Click here for more information.
 

The majority of Americans favor a potential nuclear deal with Iran, according to a new survey by Shibley Telhami and Steven Kull in the Program for Public Consultation and the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland. More than 60 percent of respondents support a deal that would limit Iran’s enrichment capacity and impose inspections in exchange for lifting some sanctions. The poll was conducted Feb. 19-25, 2015, with a sample of 710 adults.The following are excerpted key findings from the poll.

"In this survey a representative sample of Americans were presented the two primary options that have dominated this debate:
 
· For the US to continue to pursue an agreement that would accept some enrichment by Iran, but with substantial limits that would preclude Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and intrusive inspections to ensure those limits are met, in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.
 
· For the US to not accept any Iranian enrichment. Instead, the US would continue trying to get other nations to impose new economic sanctions in an effort to persuade Iran to cease enrichment completely.
 
While majorities found arguments for both options at least somewhat convincing, when asked to make their final recommendation, a clear majority of 61% recommended making a deal with Iran that would include a limited enrichment capacity for Iran. This included 61% of Republicans, 66% of Democrats and 54% of independents. The alternative of increasing sanctions in an effort to get Iran to stop all uranium enrichment was endorsed by 36%."
 
"Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents all made this same judgment. Republicans chose continuing negotiations by 61 to 35%, while Democrats favored it by 66 to 32%. A relatively more modest majority of Independents favored a deal by 54 to 42%.
 
This response was essentially the same as when PPC took respondents through the exact same process and found 61% favored a deal and 35% favored pursuing sanctions. Partisan variations were not significantly different. In the current survey, among the 9% of the sample who identified themselves as very sympathetic to the Tea Party, a plurality of 46% favored pursuing a deal with 41% opposed. Those somewhat sympathetic to the Tea Party were no different from the sample as a whole.
 
Among those who watch Fox News daily (13% of sample) views were divided, rising to 55% in favor of a deal for those who watch it 2-3 times a week. There was no significant effect for watching MSNBC.
 
The strongest effect was among those who watch a Christian news network at least 2-3 times a week or more. Among this group only 26% favored a deal while 58% favored pursuing sanctions.
 
Respondents were also asked what they thought the effect of making a deal would have on the fight against the Islamic State. A majority of 63% said it would make no difference, but more (23%) said it would help, than said it would hurt (13%). Partisan differences were insignificant.
 
Click here for the full report
 
Tags: Reports

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