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Netanyahu: Israeli Army The Only Force Ready To Fight Iran

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, July 14, 2019. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again slammed the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement saying the Israeli army is the only force ready to fight Iran.

Netanyahu also insisted he was the only leader at the time of the nuclear deal to oppose it. He was speaking to members of the National Security College at his office on July 14.

"The only thing that the terrible nuclear agreement gave is a strong and sweeping rapprochement with major Arab countries," Netanyahu said. "Iran says simply: 'We will destroy you and destroy you first by nuclear weapons.'"

By underscoring his role in opposing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Netanyahu seemed to be taking credit for the current U.S. policy of rejecting the accord and demanding a better deal.

"I had to fight alone to block the nuclear agreement," Netanyahu said. "I had to fight against all the powers and against the president of the United States - I went to the American Congress.”

Under the pressure of President Donald Trump’s tough policies, including hard-hitting sanctions, the Iranian economy has entered a deep recession and military tensions have dangerously risen in the Persian Gulf. Iran now says it is ready to negotiate if U.S. sanctions are lifted.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron floated an idea of gradual reduction of tensions and sent an envoy to Tehran.

Netanyahu also appeared to be indirectly discounting U.S. willingness to militarily confront Iran.
"At the moment, the only army in the world to fight Iran - this is the Israeli army."

Last month, when Iran shot down a U.S. drone over the Persian Gulf it was widely expected the U.S. to retaliate, but president Trump pulled the plug on an imminent military operation minutes before it was scheduled to start.

With reporting by Jerusalem Post