Benjamin Netanyahu to Lester Holt: Iran Nuclear Deal Poses Threat to U.S., Israel

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By Elizabeth Chuck

The landmark Iran nuclear deal poses a threat to both Israel and the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told NBC News' Lester Holt on Wednesday.

"We think this is not only a threat to us. We think this is a threat to you as well," Netanyahu said, a day after Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., reached the historic agreement. "Iran has killed more Americans than anyone other than al Qaeda."

"They're going to get hundreds of billions of dollars to fuel their terror and military machine," he added.

The pact between Iran and world powers ends a decade-long dispute, and grants Tehran some relief from tough economic sanctions in exchange for curbing its nuclear program. President Obama said the accord ensures that "every pathway to a nuclear weapon" has been cut off.

But Netanyahu said Wednesday that he and Obama have a "real disagreement."

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"Iran is different. It's a zealot country," he said. "It's killed a lot of Americans. It's killing everybody in sight in the Middle East."

Netanyahu contends Iran — long suspected of harboring enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon — cannot be trusted with any sort of nuclear program.

RELATED: Netanyahu Says Nuke Deal 'Paves Iran's Path to the Bomb'

"I think Iran has two paths to the bomb: One if they keep the deal, the other if they cheat on the deal," he said.

According to the terms of the agreement, United Nations inspectors will be able to check any suspicious facility in Iran within a period of up to 24 days.

"Can you imagine giving a drug dealer 24 days' notice before you inspect the premises?" Netanyahu said. "That's a lot of time to flush a lot of meth down the toilet."

Israel, a strong U.S. ally, has been vocally opposed to any deal. In March, Netanyahu delivered an address to Congress blasting the negotiations as a way to empower Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them," he warned. "For 2,000 years, my people, the Jewish people, were stateless, defenseless, voiceless."

Netanyahu's wariness is shared by the Arab world, where countries expressed skepticism that a deal would really prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon, and voiced fears that Iran would only gain more in the region without economic sanctions.

"When Arabs and Israelis agree, it's worth paying attention," Netanyahu said Wednesday.