Netanyahu tells Congress: Remove sunset clause from Iran deal

WASHINGTON – During a meeting with Republican Congressmen this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the lawmakers to “get rid of the sunset clause” from the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, Representative Don Bacon (R-NE) told Jewish Insider. Under the deal signed by former President Barack Obama, certain restriction on Tehran’s centrifuges cap would be lifted after 10 years.  

“That was something new. I have always heard get rid of the treaty. Here is a comeback saying maybe we can change the sunset clause and pursue something in the middle,” Bacon explained. While accusing Tehran of violating the spirit of the deal, the Trump administration has certified on two separate occasions that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement.

Bacon’s visit to Israel, along with 32 other Republican House Members was sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, an affiliate of AIPAC.  

The group also met with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. According to Bacon, Hamdallah “agreed that Palestine should not be a militarized or in other words be demilitarized. I think that was a pretty significant concession that the Palestine side needs to be demilitarized.”

Regarding Jared Kushner’s trip to Israel this week with the aim of restarting the peace process, the freshman lawmaker from Nebraska explained, “Every administration puts on rose colored glasses when it comes to trying to do negotiations between Israel and Palestine. And then reality hits them in the face. I think it is a mistake to pressure Israel to negotiate and make concessions when the other side has not shown that they are ready for it.” Bacon added, I would recommend to the President not to push the Israelis until the Palestinians are ready.”

Calling the President’s comments a “mistake” when he blamed “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Bacon said, “let’s give the man (Trump) credit too when he called Nazis and white nationalism repugnant.” The former Brigadier General also noted, “I would have been protesting against them (White Supremacists and neo-Nazis) in Charlottesville. Even if you are right in our cause, resorting to violence is bad. He should have been more clear in that area. They were both hitting each other.”

First visiting Israel when he was 15 years old, Bacon also traveled to Israel when he served in the military to bolster the young country’s missile defense program. Citing his visit this month to Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Bacon emphasized, “When you look back over 2,000 years of persecution, pogroms leading to the Holocaust, we need to ensure that we have a strong Jewish state to be a safe haven to Jews all over the world.”

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