Former Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman on Tuesday blasted the now-finalized deal between the United States and Iran over the Islamic theocracy’s nuclear program, calling it “a sellout” and claiming Iranian negotiators “manipulated” a “tired and weak America.”
Negotiations between permanent U.N. Security Council members (plus Germany) and Iran finally concluded this weekend, providing Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for a halt in the nation’s nuclear program and the destruction of some enriched uranium. Although President Obama has hailed the deal as a means to prevent war, lawmakers from both parties are considering moving forward with new sanctions anyway — setting up a possible showdown between Congress and the White House.
Many of Americans foreign allies are also skeptical of the deal — none more than Israel, who views an Iranian nuclear program as an existential threat. Dan Gillerman, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.N., told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on Tuesday that it’s inaccurate to even call the agreement a deal. “It’s a sellout,” he claimed. “It truly is a victory for Iran. You know, my advice to the American people — to Congress — is don’t listen just to the president. Don’t even listen to the Israeli prime minister. Certainly don’t listen to me.”
“Listen to the Iranians,” he continued. “Listen to them, believe them. They mean what they say. The Iranians say this is a victory for Iran and a surrender for the big powers.”
Iranian leaders, including new President Hassan Rouhani, have crowed that the agreement represents a triumph for their nation. “[The Iranian] foreign minister yesterday said, ‘Look, this is being played on our home ground,’” Gillerman noted. “We can do whatever we want. Whatever we disconnect today we can connect tomorrow.”
Gillerman called Iran “a terrorist state” and noted that terrorism was never addressed in the agreement. “This was as if you’re dealing with your next door neighbor,” he accused. “You’re not. You’re dealing with a terrorist state that is terrorizing the world — the main engine, harborer, financier of terrorism — and you sign a deal with them. You think by just solving it, you’ve solved the problem?”
The Israeli diplomat claims that he knows the Iranian foreign minister who negotiated the nuke deal with the United States and others. “He felt that he had — on the other side — a tired and week America, a Europe that is dying to do business again with Iran,” he explained. “He manipulated it, he got the best agreement he could, and they’re celebrating it now.”
“This celebration is not the birth of a new baby,” Gillerman concluded. “It’s the birth of a monster. Believe me.”
As forceful as Gillerman’s comments are, they fail to fully illuminate the deep rift developing between the United States and Israel. On Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic” over negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. “The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone,” he claimed.
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