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US Democrats blast Butcher netanyahu’s anti-Iran speech at Congress


A group of top US Democrats have decried Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Congress address, characterizing the speech as “political theater.”

Netanyahu delivered an anti-Iran speech at Congress on Tuesday to persuade American lawmakers to put more pressure on Tehran during nuclear negotiations.

However, remarks made by lawmakers following the speech showed that he failed to complete his mission.

At least 55 Democrats, including eight senators and 47 House members, boycotted Netanyahu’s address to protest his sharp criticism of President Barack Obama’s strategy in dealing with Iran.

They were also attacked House Speaker John Boehner for inviting Netanyahu without consulting Obama.

Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen, who boycotted the address, described the Israeli leader’s speech as “political theater worthy of an Oscar.”

“I believe the prime minister was successful in probably getting reelected,” Cohen said, referring to elections that will be held in Israel later this month. “I’m sure this will play well in Israel.”

Senior Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein also expressed hope that the speech does not “explode the possibilities” of a nuclear agreement with Iran.

Sen. Dick Durbin criticized the Israeli leader for dismissing “the president’s efforts.”

“I think at some parts of his speech, he may have mischaracterized some of things that are being said,” he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Netanyahu insulted the people in the United States by his speech.

“I was near tears throughout the prime minister’s speech — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the [negotiating] nations,” Pelosi said.

Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman also said Netanyahu is “smacking down a straw-man deal that doesn’t exist.”

Another Democrat, Rep. Peter Welch, blasted Netanyahu for undermining the strong bond between the United States and Israel.

“The biggest long-term mistake… the prime minister made was embracing a Boehner-led effort while he snubbed, very directly, the president of the United States,” Welch said.

Following the speech on Tuesday, President Obama said there was “nothing new” in Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress.

“I did have a chance to take a look at the transcript, and as far as I can tell, there was nothing new,” Obama told reporters.

The US president added that “the prime minister didn’t offer any viable alternatives.”

“Keep in mind that when we came to the interim deal, Prime Minister Netanyahu made almost the precise same speech about how dangerous that deal was going to be,” Obama said.

“The bottom line is this: We don’t yet have a deal. It may be that Iran cannot say yes to a good deal. I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal than a bad deal,” he explained.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is in the middle of nuclear talks with the P5+1 group — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — in order to reach a final agreement after an interim deal was reached in November 2013.

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