MKs dissatisfied by 'alarming' outcome of Geneva nuclear talks

Finance Minister Yair Lapid says sanctions on Iran must remain because "they work."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
November 9, 2013 11:35
3 minute read.
MKs dissatisfied by 'alarming' outcome of Geneva nuclear talks

Yacimovich Knesset 248.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi)

Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich said on Saturday that results emerging from current talks on Iran's nuclear program are somewhat alarming.

Following the most recent round of nuclear negotiations in Geneva, Yacimovich said dissolving a nuclear Iran is the best diplomatic solution, but one suggested by the US is "not enough."

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She said the interim agreement will only freeze Iran's nuclear program, and not completely inhibit them from making a bomb. Also, Yacimovich slammed the US relief on sanctions.

"Iran is relieved and able to resume arming at any moment."

Yacimovich also said there were many questions left unanswered including what the level of supervision over Iran will be, and how quickly sanctions can be re-implemented if they do not hold up their end of the deal.

Speaking on recent Israel-US tensions over the Iran issue, she emphasized the importance of the two countries' ties. She said Netanyahu must remember that Israel's "friendship and alliance with the US is its most important strategic asset.

"Iran should not have nuclear capability," she added.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yair Lapid urged the international community against removing sanctions on Iran, saying that their threat is the only reason Iran is participating the Geneva's nuclear negotiations to begin with.

"The only reason Iranians currently sitting around the negotiating table in Geneva is that sanctions work," Lapid said during a Saturday interview with BBC Radio.

Once sanctions are removed, he told the British broadcaster, large businesses will want to work with Iran's economic potential, and the Iranians are aware of this.

"Iranians know that the moment you open the door lowering sanctions, all international companies will run in and not be going back."

He also acknowledged previous conversations with his counterparts from various countries, relaying a common thought among fellow finance ministers, saying everyone wants a "piece of the Iranian market." Nobody wants to come last in that race, he added.

"As soon as they start to remove sanctions," he said it will be uncontrollable.

According to BBC, Lapid said the only successful outcome of recent talks in Geneva was Iran successfully diverting the topic of conversation to uranium enrichment, something they insist on continuing, but at lesser levels.

"Iranians know there is no problem to increase from 3% to 90 % enrichment within weeks."

Lapid said levels can be easily increased, and the Iranians were directing the negotiations in their favor.

"If Iran wants a peaceful nuclear program, why must they use centrifuges for uranium enrichment? Canada doesn't use centrifuges, not Mexico, Indonesia does not," he said.

Lapid emphasized that Israel supports a diplomatic solution, but the sanctions were most effective tool against Iran's nuclear program .

"They were where we wanted them, and we should not stop the pressure now."

Also reacting to the recent round of talks, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Saturday that Iran was benefiting from sanction relief, as they continue to enrich uranium despite an interim agreement set by western governments.

Reacting to the lack of progress made in Geneva in recent days, Steinitz said that by easing sanctions slowly, a nuclear capability can be achieved by Iran subtly, and under international approval.

He also said that the plan previously presented by US Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of his trip to Geneva "looks significantly different now."

Deputy Defense Minister MK Danny Danon said on Saturday that the world should not "sell sanctions" back to Iran.

He said that the "upcoming agreement between Iran and world powers equivalent to a sale. Iran receives immediate relief sanctions for false promises to delay the nuclear program."


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