Obama warns of dangers to Israel if Iran deal blocked

Obama Warns of Dangers to Israel If Iran Deal Blocked: U.S. Jewish Leader


President Barack Obama told U.S. Jewish leaders it was likely rockets would fall on Tel Aviv if a nuclear deal with Iran was blocked and military action ensued, one of them said on Wednesday.

In a separate appeal to American Jews, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a fierce opponent of the July 14 accord, pushed back in a webcast on Tuesday against the Obama administration's argument that the agreement was the only way to avoid eventual war with Iran.

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives will vote on whether to reject the agreement when lawmakers return to Washington in September, party leaders said on Tuesday, setting up a showdown with the president.

Photos from last month's nuclear deal negotiations:

19 PHOTOS
John Kerry and Iran nuclear talks
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Obama warns of dangers to Israel if Iran deal blocked
US Secretary of State John Kerry organizes his papers during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill July 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew appeared before the committee to defend the Obama administrations proposed deal with Iran over the county's nuclear program. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) sits next to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond as they attend a plenary session at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an 'historic surrender'. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CARLOS BARRIA (Photo credit should read CARLOS BARRIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in his office in Jerusalem on July 14, 2015, after world powers reached a historic nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu said after the deal was reached that Israel was not bound by it and signalled he remained ready to order military action . AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
(From L to R) Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East, and which Israel called an 'historic surrender'. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
German Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) ,French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (3rd L), China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (5th L), Federica Mogherini (C), High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, US Secretary of State John Kerry (3rd R), British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (2nd R) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) sit around the table at the Palais Coburg Hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria on July 6, 2015. Foreign ministers from major powers began crunch talks in Vienna on Monday seeking to seal a historic nuclear deal to end a 13-year standoff, one day before a final deadline, officials said. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L), French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (3rd L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) sit around the table at the Palais Coburg Hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria on July 6, 2015. Foreign ministers from major powers began crunch talks in Vienna on Monday seeking to seal a historic nuclear deal to end a 13-year standoff, one day before a final deadline, officials said. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CARLOS BARRIA (Photo credit should read CARLOS BARRIA/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry walks delivers a statement on Cuba outside the hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria, July 1, 2015. Talks between Iran and major powers towards a historic nuclear deal are facing tough issues but are making progress, US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a break from talks in Vienna. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTIAN BRUNA (Photo credit should read CHRISTIAN BRUNA/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2015 after a deal was reached on Iran's nuclear program. Iran and world powers agreed on the framework of a potentially historic deal aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear drive after marathon talks in Switzerland. AFP PHOTO/ NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 14: Sen. Bob Corker, Senate Foreign Relations chairman, arrives for a briefing on Iran nuclear negotiations with Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama's chief of staff Jack Lew in the Capitol on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (R) listens on as US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a joint press conference on March 7, 2015 at the Foreign Affairs Minister in Paris. Kerry had flown into Paris just a couple of hours earlier in a bid to shore up European support for the proposed deal with Iran ahead of a March 31 deadline. AFP PHOTO /ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
EU political director Helga Schmid (CL) seats next to Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi (R) at the opening of nuclear talks between Iran and Members of the P5+1 group on March 5, 2015 in Montreux. The so-called P5+1 group of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany is trying to strike an accord that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (3rd L) talks to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) (L) as Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) looks on during a photo-op prior to a meeting at the U.S. Capitol March 3, 2015 in Washington, DC. At the risk of further straining the relationship between Israel and the Obama Administration, Netanyahu addressed a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress warning congressional members against what he considers an ill-advised nuclear deal with Iran. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) is greeted by French Foreign Minister Fabius Laurent, on March 7, 2015, at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris. Flying in from London on the last stop of a week-long trip, Kerry will meet with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Britain to brief them on the status of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. AFP PHOTO/ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 28: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrives at Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland where he came for the nuclear talks with Iran on March 28, 2015. (Photo by Fatih Erel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 28: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrives at Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland where he came for the nuclear talks with Iran on March 28, 2015. (Photo by Fatih Erel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) face French Director-General for Political and Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nicolas de Riviere (2nd R), and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) at the opening of a bilateral meetinh at Iran nuclear talks on March 28, 2015 in Lausanne. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
The director-general for political and security affairs at the French Foreign Ministry, Nicolas de Riviere (2nd R), and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (R) wait look on March 28, 2015 before a meeting at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel March 28, 2015 in Lausanne. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Fabius met while in Switzerland for negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program.. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (C) takes a walk before meetings at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel March 28, 2015 in Lausanne. Iranian officials are in Switzerland to continue negotiations on their nuclear program with other world powers. AFP PHOTO / POOL / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Greg Rosenbaum, one of 20 Jewish leaders who met Obama at the White House on Tuesday, said on Israel Radio that the president spelled out what exercising a U.S. military option to strike Iran's nuclear facilities would mean if the deal between world powers and Tehran was scrapped.

"He said military action by the United States against Iran's nuclear facilities is not going to result in Iran deciding to have a full-fledged war with the United States," Rosenbaum, of the National Jewish Democratic Council, quoted Obama as telling the forum.

"'You'll see more support for terrorism. You'll see Hezbollah rockets falling on Tel Aviv.' This is what he said would happen if the U.S. had a military strike on Iran," Rosenbaum said, referring to the Iranian-backed Lebanese guerrilla group and its long-range missile arsenal.

Photos of Iranians protesting the deal:

7 PHOTOS
Iranians react to the nuclear deal
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Obama warns of dangers to Israel if Iran deal blocked
Iranians gather in celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown Tuesday to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian women flash the v sign for victory during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown Tuesday to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranians celebrate in northern Tehran, on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
An Iranian man flashes the victory sign as an other holds the Iranian national flag during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Major powers clinched a historic deal Tuesday aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranians celebrate in northern Tehran, on July 14, 2015, after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Iranians poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown to celebrate the historic nuclear deal agreed earlier with world powers in Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
An Iranian man flashes the victory sign qnd holds the portrait of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Major powers clinched a historic deal Tuesday aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Netanyahu, in the webcast organized by Jewish groups in North America, reiterated Israel's arguments that the nuclear deal was not enough to curb Iranian nuclear projects with bomb-making potential.

With surveys showing American Jewish opinion mixed on a dispute that has strained the U.S.-Israeli alliance, Netanyahu cast his opposition to the Iran deal as non-partisan.

"I don't oppose this deal because I want war. I oppose this deal because I want to prevent war. And this deal will bring war," he said, cautioning that sanctions relief would result in a financial windfall for Iran that could help fund destabilizing regional conflicts.

"This is a time to stand up and be counted. Oppose this dangerous deal," Netanyahu said.

Having infuriated the White House by speaking against Iran in Congress in March at the invitation of the Democratic president's Republican rivals, Netanyahu cast himself as the emissary of an Israeli public that, polls show, mostly shares his misgivings about the deal with Iran.

(Additional reporting by Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Patricia Zengerle in Washington; editing by John Stonestreet)

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