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Israeli PM Netanyahu tells members of Congress Iran threat is ‘like 50 North Koreas’

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, told members of the US Congress on Thursday that Iran is like “50 North Koreas” and that if it could threaten every US city with nuclear extortion, it would change the history

The prime minister met with a bipartisan group of House members, which was led by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Michael Turner.

The meeting was held in Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem, in what appeared to be a “round table” discussion, and he was asked about Iran.

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“Iran is like 50 North Koreas,” he said. “It’s not just a neighborhood bully, like the dynasty that rules North Korea. This is an ideological force that sees us, Israel, as a little Satan, and sees you as the big Satan. And that North Korea, or more soon Iran will be able to threaten every city in the United States with nuclear blackmail, it is a game changer.”

The bipartisan delegation of House members comes at a time of tense political confrontations in both countries.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., spoke in Israel earlier this week and criticized the Biden administration for not inviting Netanyahu to the White House.

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McCarthy said during the visit that he will invite the prime minister to Washington if Biden does not.

In a sign of strained relations between the Biden administration and Netanyahu’s conservative coalition, US Homeland Security spokesman John Kirby remained largely non-committal about a visit, declaring: “The leaders Israelis have a long tradition of visiting Washington. President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu have known each other for a long time. I hope the Prime Minister will visit at some point.” Kirby noted that there are no firm dates for a meeting.

In 2015, Netanyahu defied the Obama administration, which pressured him not to deliver a speech to Congress opposing the Democratic-drafted Iran nuclear deal, which the Israeli government says , an existential threat to the Jewish state.

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Communist China recently hosted the US and helped normalize diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Veteran Middle East experts see the restoration of ties between one of America’s main enemies, Iran, and a long-term US ally, Saudi Arabia, as a devastating setback for Washington’s power in the region

The United States has ranked Iran’s regime as the world’s worst international state sponsor of terrorism.

This week’s visit also comes as tensions in Israel escalate.

Netanyahu is trying to shift power from the judiciary to the Knesset, while opponents of the move believe it will weaken Israel’s system of checks and balances.

Since the beginning of 2023, weekly mass demonstrations against judicial reform efforts have taken place. A second counter-protest took place last week, also filling the streets with demonstrators, to support an overhaul of Israel’s judiciary.

Fox News’ Yonat Friling and Benjamin Weinthal contributed to this report.

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