Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned the U.S. against renewing the Iran nuclear deal in an English video message released on Sunday.
“The desperate rush to sign this flawed nuclear agreement with Iran is not only absurd, it’s downright dangerous,” Netanyahu said. “Yesterday Iran fired missiles in the vicinity of the American consulate in Iraq. And the U.S. to charge ahead…to sign a nuclear agreement that will give the Ayatollahs a nuclear arsenal.”
Every American family should watch this video. pic.twitter.com/BVo5ZFJwKk
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) March 13, 2022
Biden administration negotiators are attempting to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the Obama administration negotiated in an effort to contain Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon before the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement. While negotiators appeared close to a deal earlier this month, talks stalled after Russia demanded that its trade with Iran be exempt from U.S. sanctions put in place after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Netanyahu referred in his message to a ballistic missile strike on the city of Erbil in northern Iraq on Saturday, with missiles landing near the American consulate. No Americans were injured in the attack, according to the State Department. The Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps claimed responsibility for the attack, although the organization said it targeted Israeli “strategic centers” in the area.
“This attack targeted a civilian residence in Erbil, the Kurdistan Region’s capital city, without any justification,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Sunday. “We will support the Government of Iraq in holding Iran accountable.”
The attack came days after two IRGC officers were killed in Syria, in an alleged Israeli airstrike.
Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman denied that the consulate was the target of the strike, and said a renewed nuclear deal is the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, in an interview on Fox News Sunday.