Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday called on the world to maintain economic pressure on Iran in the hopes that it would force the Islamic Republic to dismantle its entire nuclear program.
"Today is the time to stop a potential nuclear 9/11," Bennett said in an interview with Fox News, responding to the stalemate in nuclear talks over the weekend in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 world powers.
Bennett, a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, condemned a deal on the table in Geneva that supposedly calls for only a partial halt of Tehran's disputed nuclear program.
As nuclear negotiations culminating on Saturday failed to result in any agreement, talks were due to resume within ten days.
"The only deal we need to be seeking is a deal that would total dismantle the nuclear weapons production machine in Iran," Bennett said looking ahead to the expected next round of Geneva talks.
He blasted a deal supposedly proposed in Geneva that would have Iran freeze its nuclear activities for six months in exchange for sanctions relief from the international community.
"The proposed deal is a very bad deal," he said, adding that "We don't want to pause the production, we want to dismantle the entire production machine."
"The deal needs to be the original deal, which is to dismantle [Iran's] entire machine, and right now it's not even being discussed," he charged.
Bennett said reducing the sanctions regime against Iran was "a big mistake" and the West must maintain pressure to prevent any potential physical attack on the country.
Bennett attested that the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran would not be the worst result of the process. Rather, he said the worst possible outcome of negotiations would be a nuclear weaponized Iran, "because that bomb will ultimately find it way to the West. It might take a year, it might take three years, but ultimately it will happen and Western lives will be at risk."
"Iran is on the floor like in a boxing match. They're under tremendous economic pressure. If we just don't let up, if we just keep up the pressure, they'll have to dismantle their entire machine."
Bennett expressed Israel's view of the most positive result of talks on Iran's nuclear ambitions, although he voiced concern that negotiations did not seem to be advancing toward that possibility.
"The best outcome would be a deal, but a good deal, which dismantles Iran's capabilities not leaving them with the breakout option. Right now that's not where we're headed."
He praised France for resisting a perceived inadequate deal, which he said had "stopped the train and managed to prevent this very bad deal."
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