Israelis ‘not the only ones’ who oppose accord, PM says, urging world powers to seek ‘a better deal’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday there was still time to stop an Iranian agreement with world powers that, he said, would give Tehran nuclear arms.
“It is still not too late to retract the plan” being negotiated between Iran and the world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program, he stated at a ceremony marking Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War.
The United States as well as Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany are in the midst of negotiations with Tehran to finalize a deal by June 30 that they say would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, in exchange for an easing of crippling economic sanctions.
Iran cannot be trusted to honor the nascent deal, Netanyahu has argued.
“Only last night, after vigorous action by the US against the terrorism of the Islamic State, the leader of Iran, [Ali] Khamenei, attacked the US and said: ‘It is the United States,’ so said the man who is heading the negotiations between Iran and the major powers, ‘that is causing and supports terrorism.’ These words were said when Iran still does not have nuclear weapons and it is still not too late to retract the plan to give Iran a deal that would pave for it a certain path to nuclear weapons,” he continued.
“We oppose this deal and we are not the only ones,” Netanyahu went on. “It is both necessary and possible to achieve a better deal because extremists cannot be allowed to achieve their aims, not in Iran, not in Yemen and not in Jerusalem.”
Arab and largely Sunni Muslim states of the Gulf fear a nuclear deal could be a harbinger of closer US ties with their Shiite arch-foe Iran, a country they also see as fueling conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.
US President Barack Obama tried to reassure America’s Gulf allies at a Camp David summit Thursday that engaging with Iran would not come at their expense.
Iran has long asserted its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes, and that international concern about it seeking a nuclear bomb is misplaced.