Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday his upcoming speech to a joint session of Congress is not to disrespect the U.S. president but to address a nuclear deal with Iran that threatens Israel.

"My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President (Barack) Obama or the esteemed office that he holds. I have great respect for both," he said.

"My speech is also not intended to inject Israel into the American partisan debate."

Netanyahu, who is expected to talk to lawmakers Tuesday, spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington. The committee is considered the most powerful pro-Israel lobby group.

The Israeli leader was invited to address Congress by House Speaker John Boehner. The invitation bypassed established protocols and was seen as an affront to the Obama administration. At least 35 Democratic congressmen, including five senators, have said they will not attend the speech. 

While showing gratitude to Obama and Congress for support to the state of Israel, Netanyahu said the purpose of his address to Congress is to talk about "a potential deal with Iran that could threaten the survival of Israel."

"Iran envelopes the entire world with its tentacles of terror. This is what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran would do with nuclear weapons," he said. 

The Israeli leader said Iran vows to annihilate Israel and if it develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to achieve that goal. 

He acknowledged that Israel and the United States agree Iran should not have nuclear weapons, but he said the two states disagree about the best way to prevent Iran from developing those weapons. 

The five permanent members of UN Security Council, plus Germany, are attempting to reach an agreement with Iran to stop its nuclear program in return for loosening and ultimately lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

But the Israeli government have pushed the Obama administration, primarily through the use of pro-Israeli Republican lawmakers, to place more sanctions on Iran and even take military action against it if necessary. 

The prime minister said the disagreement on the approach to Iran refers to the U.S.’s and Israel’s geopolitical positions, military power and the types of threats they face.

Netanyahu recalled several disagreements between the U.S. and Israel since the foundation of Israeli state and pointed out that despite occasional disagreements, the friendship between the U.S. and Israel grew stronger and "will weather the current disagreement, as well."

Regardless of the content and purpose, dozens of congressmen, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, will not attend Netanyahu's speech which helped fuel rumors that the prime minister’s move created a significant division between Israel and the U.S. administration.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, also speaking at the conference, said reports in that respect are not only "premature," but "they are wrong."

"We believe firmly that Israel's security and the U.S.-Israel partnership transcends politics, and it always will," she said noting that "the stakes are too high" to politicize the Israeli-American relations.

"Our commitments to our partnership with Israel are bedrock commitments, rooted in shared fundamental values, cemented through decades of bipartisan reinforcement. This partnership should never be politicized, and it cannot and will not be tarnished or broken," Power added. 

"The Obama administration has invested more than $20 billion in foreign military financing for Israel, far more than for any other country and more than at any previous time in the history of the U.S.- Israel relationship," she said, while adding that the U.S. would not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Anadolu Agency