Steinitz heads to Paris in attempt to ‘amend loopholes’ in Iranian deal

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March 22, 2015 18:26

Dermer: A year breakout time leaves Tehran with vast nuclear infrastructure in place.

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Yuval Steinitz

Yuval Steinitz speaks to 'The Jerusalem Post,' March 15, 2015. (photo credit:SAPIR PERETZ)

International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz headed for Paris Sunday afternoon, as differences emerged over the weekend between France and the US over the negotiating strategy with Iran.

“This is an effort to prevent a [nuclear] deal that is bad and full of loopholes, or at least... to succeed in closing or amending some of these loopholes,” Steinitz told Israel Radio. He is being accompanied by National Security Council head Yossi Cohen and several other intelligence officials.

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Steinitz said he may visit other European capitals as well.

At one point during the latest negotiations, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius phoned his team in Switzerland to ensure it made no more concessions, officials at the talks said last week.

On Saturday, Fabius said France wants an agreement that would guarantee Iran could not produce a nuclear weapon.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that a bad Iran deal is one with a “short breakout time.”

“Right now they’re talking about a year breakout time,” he said. “That leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure in place.

That breakout time has to be much longer.”

A “very bad” deal, Dermer added, “would automatically remove restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program after only about a decade.”

In that case, he said, Iran would be able to become a nuclear weapons state when the deal expired.

This, he said, “would lead to mass nuclear proliferation in the region and would be very dangerous for the Middle East and the world.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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