Netanyahu: World Powers 'Gave Up' On Stopping Iran

PM Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while he speaks to supporters of his Likud party as he campaigns in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim. Netanyahu on Wednesday rebuffed criticism in Washington of his plans to speak in Congress, accusing world powers of forsaking a pledge to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. (Nir Elias/Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says world powers "have given up" on stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

U.S. and Iranian officials are reporting progress in their negotiations, touting a deal that would allegedly clamp down on Tehran's nuclear activities for 10 years, then slowly ease restrictions.

"From the agreement that is forming, it appears they have given up on that commitment and are accepting that Iran will gradually, within a few years, develop capabilities to produce material for many nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said at a Likud gathering in Ma'ale Adumim just outside Jerusalem.

"They might accept this, but I'm not willing to accept this. As the prime minister of Israel, I am responsible for the security of the country and its citizens," he said.

"I must do everything to express my opposition and warn of the dangers a nuclear-armed Iran would pose not only to us and our neighbors, but also to the entire world," he said.

Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress next week despite the Obama administration's intensive efforts against it.

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Netanyahu "injected a degree of partisanship" when he accepted House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to speak on the Iranian threat.

Rice said the address is "destructive to the fabric" of U.S.-Israeli relations.

But Netanyahu says a nuclear-armed Iran with the declared goal of wiping Israel off the map is the greatest threat his country is facing and he is obligated to present the facts to Congress.

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