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Middle east

Israel says Iran nuclear deal a 'historic mistake'

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-24

Israel lashed out Sunday at the international community’s nuclear deal with Iran, saying that those who believed Tehran would end its pursuit of a nuclear weapon were engaged in "self-delusion" and calling the deal a "historic mistake".

Israel on Sunday reacted strongly to the international community’s nuclear deal with Iran, denouncing it by saying it was a “self-delusion” that the Islamic Republic will ever seek to end its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

Israel said the deal was a "historic mistake" that makes it possible for Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal.

Israel has long accused Iran of trying to develop a nuclear weapon, and in the weeks leading up to Sunday’s agreement, had warned the emerging deal was insufficient. It had called for increased pressure on Iran, and warned that any relief from economic sanctions would make Iran less willing to compromise down the road.

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Cabinet minister for intelligence issues, called the last-minute changes to the deal “far from satisfactory.”

“Israel cannot participate in the international celebration, which is based on Iranian deception and (international) self-delusion,” he said.

In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Economic Minister Naftali Bennett– a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security Cabinet– said that “Israel does not see itself as bound by this bad, this very bad agreement that has been signed.”

Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to its very survival, citing Iranian calls for Israel’s destruction, its development of long-range missiles capable of striking Israel and Iran’s support for hostile militant groups along Israel’s borders. It dismisses Iranian claims that the nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

Israel has repeatedly threatened to carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities if it concludes international diplomacy has failed to curb the Iranian programme.

But Steinitz indicated an Israeli attack is not in the works for the time being.

“Despite our disappointment, we will remain steadfast in our position and work with our friends and allies in the United States and the rest of the world in an attempt to achieve a comprehensive solution, which includes a full and genuine dismantling of Iran’s military infrastructure,” he said.

A senior US official told Reuters that US President Barack Obama, who has hailed the agreement as an important “first step”, on Sunday plans to speak with Netanyahu about Israel’s concerns about the deal.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)
 

Date created : 2013-11-24

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