Israel Frantic to Prevent Iran Nuclear Deal

Sunday, November 10, 2013 |  Ryan Jones  

Nuclear talks between Iran and leading Western powers ended inconclusively in Geneva on Saturday, but the two sides agreed to get back together later in the month to sign what Israel says is a "very, very bad deal."

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said of the Geneva talks that "concrete progress on Iran's nuclear program has been made, but some issues remain."

US Secretary of State John Kerry added that the two sides had "not only narrowed differences and clarified those that remain but we made significant progress in working through the approaches to this question of how one reins in a program and guarantees its peaceful nature."

But a day earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a public plea to Kerry and his colleagues "not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal."

Netanyahu reminded Kerry of his previous remark that "no deal is better than a bad deal." According to the Israeli leader, "the deal that is being discussed in Geneva is a bad deal. Iran is not required to take apart even one centrifuge. But the international community is relieving sanctions on Iran for the first time after many years."

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called the Geneva deal "a historical mistake that will allow the bellicose regime in Tehran to pursue its dangerous nuclear program and its ambition to spread terror and to undermine regimes in the Middle East and the entire world."

Israel Radio reported on Sunday that Economic Minister Naftali Bennett would be dispatched to Washington to lobby the American government against supporting the proposed Iran nuclear deal.

The Israeli reaction apparently displeased Kerry, who charged that critics of the Iran deal were "jumping to conclusions.""

Speaking at a press conference following the Geneva talks, Kerry insisted that Western powers would only sign a deal that would allow them to "look our allies in the face and say, ‘This gets the job done.’"

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