Israel slams 'bad' deal with Iran

2013-11-24 14:19
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Tel Aviv - A nuclear deal struck between Iran and world powers in Geneva was "bad" as Tehran had obtained "what it wanted", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Sunday.

"This is a bad agreement that gives Iran what it wanted: the partial lifting of sanctions while maintaining an essential part of its nuclear programme," said a statement published a few hours after the historic accord was signed in the Swiss city.

"The agreement allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium, leaves the centrifuges in place and allows it to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon," it added.

"The accord did not lead to the dismantling of the Arak plant", the heavy water reactor being built 240 kilometres southwest of Tehran.

"Economic pressure on Iran could have produced a much better agreement that would have led to a dismantling of Iran's nuclear capacities," the statement said.

Israel's Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of a far-right party, meanwhile said his country was not bound by the Geneva deal and had a right to self-defence.

"Iran is threatening Israel and Israel has the right to defend itself," he told a military radio station.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman too railed against the deal.

"This agreement is the greatest diplomatic victory of Iran, which has gained recognition for its so-called legitimate right to enrich uranium," Lieberman told public radio.

The hawkish, blunt-talking chief diplomat, who returned to office earlier this month after seeing off graft charges, stressed that "all options are on the table".

"The responsibility for the security of the Jewish people and the population of Israel remains the sole responsibility of the Israeli government," Lieberman said.

"All decisions in this regard will be taken independently and responsibly," he added.

Read more on:    us  |  iran  |  israel  |  iran nuclear programme

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