Press Release: In an address to the United States Congress, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Israeli relationship. He stressed the existential threat posed by violent Islamist extremism and denounced any agreement between the United States and Iran that fails to prevent Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and capabilities. U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (TX-4) joined a majority of Republican members of congress in attendance.
“The bond between the United States and Israel is unparalleled. We are both friends and allies. Indeed, Israel is our strongest and most strategic ally in the Middle East, and our continued commitment to Israel must be unwavering,” said Ratcliffe. “In a region where tyranny thrives, political and economic freedoms are rare, and violent Islamist extremism is rampant, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been an ardent defender of the shared American-Israeli values of freedom and democracy. Prime Minister Netanyahu is a leader who with every fiber of his being believes in the exceptionalism of his nation, and that came through powerfully in his speech.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu has consistently been critical of Obama Administration efforts to negotiate nuclear deals with Iran. Netanyahu believes that any agreement that falls short of dismantling Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is simply unacceptable. In his speech, he described the current negotiations by saying, “This deal has two major concessions: leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and lifting the restrictions after a decade.”
“The negotiations between the Obama administration and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program are deeply troubling,” said Ratcliffe. “Iran persists in calling for Israel’s total annihilation, yet reports indicate that a U.S.-Iran deal would allow Iran to continue down the path to obtaining a nuclear weapon. Prime Minister Netanyahu and I are both genuinely concerned critics of Iran’s dangerous nuclear program – one which seeks to further destabilize the Middle East and threatens Israel, the United States and the rest of the free world. I will continue to stand with Israel and oppose the lifting of sanctions on Iran, support Israel’s right to self-defense, and support Israeli efforts to defeat terrorism.”
Ratcliffe is a former terrorism prosecutor and U.S. Attorney. He served as the special prosecutor in United States v. Holy Land Foundationwhich successfully led to the imprisonment of individuals for funneling money to the terrorist group Hamas. Ratcliffe was recently named as one of five freshman appointed to the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel.