US Secretary of State John Kerry expresses his condolences over the death the of the mother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani before a negotiation session with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif over Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne March 20.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In a phone call to US president Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Iranian nuclear deal framework could put Israel's future at risk if it was to be implemented, according to Mark Regev, the prime minister's spokesman.
In the discussion, Netanyahu was said to have reminded Obama about Iran's recent comments that " the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable."
"In these fateful days Iran is accelerating the arming of its terror proxies to attack Israel," Netanyahu said in the call.
"This deal would legitimize Iran's nuclear program, bolster Iran's economy & increase Iran's aggression and terror," the premier said, adding that the deal makes Iran's path to a nuclear bomb easier. "The alternative is standing firm and increasing the pressure on Iran until a better deal is achieved."
Diplomatic officials on Thursday in Jerusalem responded fiercely to the framework announcement, saying it is a “bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous deal," despite assurances from President Barack Obama in his statement
“This deal is a capitulation to Iran’s demands and will not lead to nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes, but rather for war. If an agreement will be reached based on these parameters, then we are talking about an historic mistake that will make the world much more dangerous,” the officials said.
According to the officials, the framework gives international legitimacy to Iran’s nuclear program, which is designed for one purpose only: to build bombs.
Under the framework, the officials said, Iran will retain wide nuclear capabilities, continue to enrich uranium, continue research and development for advanced centrifuges, and not close any of its nuclear facilities – including the underground facility at Fordow.
Furthermore, the officials said, “Iran is not asked to stop its aggressions in the region, its terrorism in the world, or its declarations to destroy Israel, which it repeated in recent days.”
The alternative to a bad deal is not war, the officials said, but rather a better deal.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, interested in being either the foreign or defense minister in the next government, issued a statement calling the announcement “peace in our time, 2015,” a reference to Neville Chamberlain’s infamous statement – “peace for our time” – which he said when returned from the Munich Conference in 1938. Less than a year later Hitler invaded Poland, plunging Europe into World War II.
“The world’s most radical Islamic terrorist regime received today an official kosher stamp for its illicit nuclear program,” he said.
“This is a regime that cannot be trusted and which has already violated consecutive UN resolutions. Today’s deal paves the way for Iran to eventually obtain a nuclear weapon, to further destabilize the Middle East and to continue spreading terror across the globe.”
Bennett said it is important to stress that “deal or no deal, Israel will do what is needed to protect itself and its citizens.”
Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid expressed concern over the framework and called on Israel to work with the US and other world powers to make sure there is not "Iranian fraud, something which would threaten Israel's security and that of the world."
"We are all concerned that the Iranians will circumvent the deal and Israel must protect its own security interests," he said. "The ayatollah’s regime has been peddling fraud and deception for years and progressing with its nuclear program. They will try, from day one, to cheat the international community as they have done in the past."