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Excerpts from Israeli leader Netanyahu’s speech to Congress

March 3, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Excerpts from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday warning against making a deal that could leave Iran on the path toward nuclear weapons:

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“I deeply regret that some perceive my being here as political. That was never my intention. I want to thank you, Democrats and Republicans, for your common support for Israel, year after year, decade after decade.

“I know that no matter on which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with Israel.”

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“I feel a profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.”

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“We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”

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“When it comes to Iran and ISIS (the Islamic State militants), the enemy of your enemy is your enemy. ... To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.”

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“If Iran’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table — well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the earth, including to every part of the United States.”

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“This deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb. It paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”

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“Iran’s neighbors know that Iran will become even more aggressive and sponsor even more terrorism when its economy is unshackled and it’s been given a clear path to the bomb. And many of these neighbors say they’ll respond by racing to get nuclear weapons of their own.”

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“Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East.

“Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.

“And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.”

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“If Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff. They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.”

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“We’re being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal.”

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“I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

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