Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the United States on Monday for his much-contested speech in Congress scheduled for Tuesday, despite concerns that the activity might result in a diplomatic rift between Washington and the Israeli government.
Netanyahu is scheduled to argue against a possible nuclear deal with Iran in his Congress speech on Tuesday – an activity which was not agreed upon in advance with the Obama administration, much to the anger of the White House.
Obama has said he won't attend the speech or even meet the Israeli leader citing the upcoming Israeli election scheduled to take place in two weeks time.
However, the US Secretary of State John Kerry has not shied away from addressing the perceived political implication of the planned event. Kerry, who is due to meet Iran's foreign minister in Geneva later this week has said that he hoped Netanyahu's speech won't turn into "some great political football," adding however, that the Israeli leader was "welcome to speak in the United States, obviously", the BBC reports.
"I can't promise you we can [reach a nuclear deal with Iran] ... but we are going to test whether or not diplomacy can prevent this weapon from being created so you don't have to turn to additional measures including the possibility of a military confrontation," he told the US broadcaster ABC.
Arguing against the possible nuclear deal with Iran, Netanyahu is expected to say in his speech -- as he has made it clear in many of his speech back home -- that it would be inadequate to preclude Tehran from manufacturing or possessing nuclear bomb. He was invited to give the speech by Republican leaders.
But there is general consensus among US media that the move has angered the Democrats, over 30 members of which, including Vice-President Joe Biden, saying they won't attend the speech
The United States and its allies, referred to as the P5+1, are currently negotiating with Iran over its nuclear programme. A framework agreement is expected by the end of March.
Iran is accused of seeking technology to proliferate nuclear weapons – a charge always denied by Tehran.