Netanyahu Admits Anti-Deal Fight Over

Netanyahu Admits Anti-Deal Fight Over Netanyahu Admits Anti-Deal Fight Over

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted on Sunday that the fierce fight spearheaded by him and US Republicans against the July 14 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers has been futile and the opponents have no chance of blocking the implementation of the international accord.

“Now that it’s done, let’s look forward… Let’s make sure that they [the Iranians] keep all their obligations under the nuclear deal. That’s the first thing,” said Netanyahu on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” in an interview aired Sunday.

The Israeli official made clear his intense opposition to the deal in a high-profile speech to the US Congress earlier this year. But Republican lawmakers failed to kill the deal after most Democrats backed US President Barack Obama, who argued it would help avert war.

“I’ll be the happiest person in the world if my concerns prove to be wrong. You know, the opposite could also happen,” Netanyahu claimed.”But I think the issue right now is -- it’s a practical question. It’s not an ideological question. It’s not a political question. It’s a practical question -- do they keep the agreement?”

  Iran’s Regional Role  

Netanyahu said he wants to cooperate with the United States on other efforts to reduce Iran’s influence in the region.

He was in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Netanyahu said he met US Secretary of State John Kerry for what he said marks the start of “the day after” a “family” dispute over the Iran deal.

He said Israel’s defense minister will travel in the coming weeks to Washington to meet with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter. And he said he will meet with Obama in November.

“Let’s block Iran’s other [alleged] aggression in the region, because they’re doing everything. They’re trying to encircle Israel with a noose…,” Netanyahu said. “They’re in Iraq. They’re in Afghanistan. They’re all over the place. In Yemen, of course. Let’s bolster those forces to stand up to Iran’s [activities] in the region.”

Tehran, which denies its nuclear program may have any military objectives, has met all its commitments under the interim nuclear deal it signed with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in late 2013.

Iran also says its regional activities are meant to help its allies against terrorists, especially the so-called Islamic State militant group operating in Iraq and Syria.

Iranian officials have made it clear that the July nuclear pact will not lead to a shift in their policy to back resistance groups fighting Israel.