Netanyahu to lay out elements of Iran deal, urge pushing back deadline

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

WASHINGTON (CNN)During his upcoming speech to Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lay out the details of what he understands to be the nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran, hoping it will prompt lawmakers to question the administration and delay the March 24 deadline for a political agreement.

A senior Israeli official traveling in Netanyahu’s delegation, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said the Israeli government had “a good understanding of the agreement we can draw conclusions from.”

“We know what we know. And believe me, we know a lot of information about this agreement,” the official told reporters aboard the flight to Washington. “The Prime Minister is going to Congress to explain what they don’t know about this agreement that it is a bad agreement.”

The official said Congress has “no understanding” of the deal shaping up. He described the Prime Minister’s speech as a “last chance” to speak directly to Congress before a March 24 deadline for a political framework agreement about the elements believed to be in the deal.

The official would not disclose how the Israeli government reportedly had more information on the deal than the U.S. Congress, but noted that many of the parties were leaking details of the talks. However, in congressional testimony before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Anybody running around right now jumping in to say, ‘Well, we don’t like the deal’ or this or that, doesn’t know what the deal is. There is no deal yet. And I caution people to wait and see what these negotiations produce.”

I am leaving for Washington on a fateful, even historic mission. I am the emissary of all Israelis, even those who disagree with me.