Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner has denied that he “blindsided” the White House by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to address Congress without first clearing it with the administration.
“I gave them a heads-up that morning,” Boehner said in an interview with CBS.
The Republican leader, a longtime antagonist of President Obama, also insisted that the invitation was not politically motivated, but a matter of clarifying the all-important issue of Iran.
“But there’s nobody in the world who can talk about the threat of radical terrorism, nobody can talk about the threat that the Iranians pose, not just to the Middle East and to Israel, our longest ally, but to the entire world, but Bibi Netanyahu,” he added.
Meanwhile on Monday, Netanyahu pushed his case for an urgent appearance before Congress, as he declared that the deal being negotiated between the six world powers and Iran would leave it with the capacity to manufacture “dozens of nuclear bombs within a few months.”
The agreement that is emerging “is dangerous for Israel, the region and the world,” he said as he explained that, under its terms, Iran would remain a nuclear threshold state.
“We will do everything to prevent Iran’s arms capacity and its ability to produce nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer defended Netanyahu’s planned speech, describing it as the prime minister’s “sacred duty” to present Israel’s position on Iran.
Speaking at an Israel Bonds event in Florida, Dermer said Netanyahu’s visit was “intended for one purpose: To speak up while there is still time to speak up. To speak up when there is still time to make a difference.”