Israeli cabinet unanimously opposed to Iran framework nuclear deal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to deliver a statement later in the afternoon on Friday.

By REUTERS
April 3, 2015 14:34
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Khamenei

Netanyahu and Khamenei. (photo credit: REUTERS,MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Israel's security cabinet is united in its opposition to the framework deal reached between world powers and Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement issued following a special meeting said on Friday.

Netanyahu, who earlier spoke by phone with US President Barack Obama, saying that he was "vehemently opposed" to the agreement, was shortly expected to deliver a statement.

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Obama called Netanyahu within hours of the deal being struck, saying it represented significant progress toward a lasting solution that cuts off Iran's path to a nuclear weapon.

But Netanyahu said in a statement after the conversation that a deal based on the framework announced in Lausanne, Switzerland "would threaten the survival of Israel."

"This deal would legitimize Iran's nuclear program, bolster Iran's economy and increase Iran's aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond," Netanyahu said.

"It would increase the risks of nuclear proliferation in the region and the risks of a horrific war."

Israel has said in the past that it would consider taking unilateral action to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon, a warning taken to mean that it could launch air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities.

While that rhetoric has died down over the past year or more, the head of Israel's military planning directorate, Major-General Nimrod Sheffer, said it was still a possibility.

"The military option has always been on the table, as we have said all along," Sheffer told Israel Hayom newspaper on Friday. "If it has not been mentioned much in the media recently, that does not reflect a change in policy."


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