Israel’s Netanyahu Urges Congress to Block ‘Bad Deal’ With Iran

Daily News Article - March 4, 2015


NOTE: This is a very important issue for the U.S. Ask a parent to read the article and discuss your answers. Also, consider watching the speech and answering the Challenge questions.

1. In his speech to Congress Tuesday, why did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say the deal the Obama administration wants to make with Iran over its nuclear weapons program is a bad deal?

2. a) What argument has President Obama made to support making a deal with the Iranian government?
b) How did Prime Minister Netanyahu counter that argument?

3. What did PM Netanyahu call on the U.S. to do in regard to the nuclear talks with Iran?

4. a) What is President Obama’s goal for the deal he and other world powers are negotiating to partially freeze Iran’s nuclear activity for at least 10 years?
b) What is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s goal for negotiations with Iran?

5. Barack Obama is the President of the United States.
a) Do you think Speaker Boehner was right to breach protocol by not consulting with the White House before extending the invitation to PM Netanyahu?
b) Do you think President Obama was right to say he would not watch Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress?
Explain your answers.

6. A senior Obama administration official complained that Prime Minister Netanyahu offered no alternative to the present course of the talks. “Where is the alternative? Simply demanding that Iran completely capitulate [give in] is not a plan, nor would any country support us in that position,” the official said. “The prime minister offered no concrete action plan.”
a) Prime Minister Netanyahu spent the first 15 minutes of his speech talking about Iran’s support for terrorism throughout the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is the enemy of Iran. Do you think Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries would or would not support the U.S. if President Obama called for Iran to completely capitulate? Explain your answer.
b) Do you think “the prime minister offered no concrete action plan”?  Explain your answer.

7. In the comments section of one news site, a reader wrote that he supported Prime Minister Netanyahu:  “I think Netanyahu is more qualified to know what to do than Obama.” What do you think of this assertion?

8. Do you think the approximately 50 Democratic lawmakers who boycotted the speech were right to do so? Explain your answer.

CHALLENGE: The media for the most part has portrayed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress as insulting to President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. Watch the Prime Minister’s speech in its entirety at:

Then answer the following questions:

  1. How did Prime Minister Netanyahu speak about President Obama at the beginning of his speech?
  2. What did PM Netanyahu say we know for certain about Iran’s nuclear program?
  3. How did he refute President Obama’s assertion that if the U.S. did not make a deal with Iran then the only other choice is war?
  4. How did he explain the role/effectiveness of UN nuclear inspectors?
  5. What did the UN’s IAEA just say about Iran’s nuclear program?
  6. PM Netanyahu said Iran has proven on more than one occasion that it cannot be trusted. He also said even if Iran keeps the deal they can still obtain nuclear weapons. How does he explain this?
  7. What supporting facts does he give for saying that Iran has proven it cannot be trusted?
  8. Netanyahu asked: Would Iran be less aggressive if sanctions were lifted? Ask a parent what he/she thinks and to explain his/her answer.
  9. He also said that President Obama’s deal with Iran is supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation. Why does he say it will instead spark a nuclear arms race?
  10. What did the Prime Minister suggest we can insist on?
  11. What three things did Netanyahu say the U.S. should demand Iran do?
  12. He also said: If Iran changes its behavior, THEN the restrictions would be lifted, and if Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country. Do you agree with these suggestions? Explain your answer.
  13. PM Netanyahu said, “They (Iran) need the deal a lot more than you do” and urged “maintain the pressure on Iran and those who do business with Iran.” What do you think about this suggestion?