In Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress today, he exclaimed, “Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs.” This declaration that Iran is close to obtaining a nuclear weapon is nothing new for the Prime Minister.
In 1992, Netanyahu, who was then a member of Israeli Parliament, said that Iran was only three to five years away from developing and securing nuclear arms. He also urged the United States to intervene to prevent such an occurrence from transpiring. Netanyahu stated that Iran’s race to obtain nuclear weapons needed to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the US.”
Iran did not acquire nuclear weapons within three to five years.
In his book, Fighting Terrorism — which was released in 1995 — Netanyahu wrote that Iran was “five to seven years at most” from possessing an operational nuclear facility. Seven years has come and gone, and yet Iran has still not accomplished this objective.
Netanyahu solicited the United States to become involved in Iran’s affairs once again in 1996. Speaking to the US Congress, the newly elected Prime Minister said, “the international community must reinvigorate its efforts to isolate [Iran], and prevent them from acquiring atomic power.” He then added, “Only the United States can lead this vital international effort to stop the nuclearization of terrorist states. But the deadline for attaining this goal is getting extremely close.”
It has been 19 years since Netanyahu proclaimed that Iran’s goal of procuring atomic arms was “extremely close.” They still do not have these arms or even the capabilities to produce such weapons.
Netanyahu made this warning again in 2009. While speaking to a Congressional delegation visiting Israel, he complained that Iran’s “tentacles” were choking Israel. He also added, that according to “our experts”, Iran was only 1-2 years away from gaining nuclear devices.
2012’s assertion that Iran was on the cusp of becoming nuclear was possibly Netanyahu’s most hyperbolic and vehement to date. In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, he said “it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.” He also went on at great length to paint Iran as the most menacing force on the planet. Phrases such as “world’s most dangerous terrorist regime” and “driven by a lust for violence” were used by Netanyahu to describe the Iranians.
The weeks and months that Netanyahu referred to in his UN oration have passed us by, and yet Iran has still not gained these nuclear armaments.
In opposition to the multitude of claims by the MIT graduate and Israeli Prime Minister, Reuters reported in 2012 that,
“The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.”
In fact, even the Mossad — Israel’s intelligence agency — contradicted and discredited Netanyahu’s claims in 2012. The intelligence group reported that Iran is “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons”according to leaked documents.
In today’s speech, the Prime Minister — who also happens to receive over90% of his campaign funding from the United States — also voiced in his address to Congress that Iran was “gobbling up all the nations.” It should be noted that Iran, a nation that is by no means a beacon of freedom, has not actually invaded any nation — unless provoked — in modern times.
Given Netanyahu’s rhetoric over the past 20 years, if Iran were ever actually moments away from “going nuclear,” how could anyone believe him?
You can watch today’s address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States Congress in its entirety below.
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