Netanyahu’s scheduled Speech in Congress Will Be Unhelpful
The senior US House of Representatives Democrat said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to the US Congress in March could damage the Obama administration’s attempts to broker a deal with Iran on its nuclear program.
“Such a presentation could send the wrong message in terms of giving diplomacy a chance,” Reuters quoted Representative Nancy Pelosi as saying during a news conference on the sidelines of an annual retreat for Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday.
But Pelosi stopped short of saying that the invitation to Netanyahu should be withdrawn by House Speaker John Boehner.
Earlier this month Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of the House and Senate and the speech is scheduled for March 3, just two weeks before the Israeli Prime Minister stands for re-election on March 17.
“It’s a serious big honor that we extend (to Netanyahu). That it should be extended two weeks before an election in the country without collaboration (with) the leaders in Congress and without collaboration with the White House is not appropriate,” Pelosi said.
The Obama administration has been involved in protracted talks with Tehran on a long-term settlement to the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear work. It is hoping to wrap up those talks by the end of March.
Members of Congress have been threatening additional sanctions on Iran if a satisfactory deal is not reached.