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‘Crunch Time for U.S., Israel’: Royce Reacts to Bibi Speech

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) on Tuesday reacted to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic address to Congress by warning that time is of the essence, writing that it is now “crunch time” for the U.S. and Israel in the face of a growing terrorist threat.

He thanked Netanyahu for presenting his long-standing and shared belief that a nuclear-armed Iran poses a tremendous threat to Israel, the Middle East and the entire world, in clear and concise terms.

“For President Obama and his team, Iran is a problem to manage. For Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is a threat to his country’s existence,” Royce wrote.

Royce’s reaction is below:

Critics must now deal with the substance of the Prime Minister’s concerns, which I have long shared. The Foreign Affairs Committee has consistently raised concerns with the troubling outlines of this agreement.  How does an Iran with industrial scale enrichment capacity – key bomb-making technology – make the U.S. and Israel safer?  How does an Iranian nuclear program, which will spur similar programs among neighboring rivals, make the Middle East less combustible?  How does it make sense for an agreement with a revolutionary regime – that has been in power since 1979 – to expire after just ten years?

Indeed, negotiators have a long way to go to get to an agreement that will be in the long-term national security interests of the United States. The ‘unthinkable’ of a nuclear Iran is now thinkable, with all of the dire consequences it would mean for our allies in the region.  The Prime Minister underscored, bolded, and capitalized the tough questions.  How will negotiators from the U.S. and our partners respond?  Deal or no deal, Congress will soon have its say on these negotiations.

This is crunch time for the U.S. and Israel regarding the Iranian and growing terrorist threat in the region. Today’s speech was historic.  The Prime Minister got many standing ovations for his speech.  The Speaker deserves one for making it happen.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz

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