Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned the West’s recent nuclear deal with Iran today in a surprise press conference together in Geneva.
Both leaders traveled to Switzerland to protest the preliminary deal that the United States and five countries reached there on Sunday, claiming the symbolic first step toward peace will harm both countries.
The historic agreement would see Iran curb its nuclear program in exchange for relaxed economic sanctions. It will be in place for six months while a long-term deal — aimed at definitively preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons — is worked out.
“We are putting aside our differences to draw the world’s attention to this historic mistake,” Netanyahu told reporters as Ahmadinejad stood by his side. “President Obama and the United States have an obligation to us to invade and bomb Iran, or at least die trying. Yet they are deliberately screwing it up by suggesting things can be resolved in other ways.
“Obama chickened out on Syria and now he’s trying to make friends with Iran. This is not the United States I used to know. I ask the American people, where are your Dick Cheneys and George Bushes?”
Netanyahu’s unexpected appearance alongside Ahmadinejad, a vocal opponent of Israel, demonstrated their mutual hardline stances on foreign policy. Both criticized the ongoing discussions between the United States and Iran, which have finally broken a decades-long diplomatic stalemate.
Like his Israeli counterpart, Ahmadinejad told reporters that peace was unacceptable. He argued that any reduction in Iran’s nuclear capabilities or its capabilities to refine uranium was not in his country’s best interests.
“This deal is going to hurt our chances of wiping Israel off the map, and you can quote me on that,” Ahmadinejad declared. “Both Bibi and I understand that it is God’s will for our countries to go to war against one another. We have worked too hard for this, only for it to be stopped by a bunch of suits in Geneva.
“I call on (Iranian President) Hassan Rouhani to reject this deal immediately and to stop trying to play nice with the world. The next thing you know, we’ll be forced to recognize Israel as a legitimate state.”
Both men suggested that they would not be satisfied with any deal or plan toward peace until, as Ahmadinejad suggested, “at least one of our countries is a giant crater in the ground.”
“Mr. Ahmadinejad and I are prepared to stand together in solidarity until we get what we want,” Netanyahu said. “Every country who took part in this deal, especially the United States, owe us a huge apology.”
After the press conference, Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad shook hands before going their separate ways.