Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz at UN 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
Israel remains firm in in its belief that the agreement taking shape between the
international community and Iran is bad, and won’t join international
“celebrations” over the signing of an interim deal, Intelligence Minister Yuval
Steinitz said on Tuesday.
The “world is cheating itself” over the deal,
Steinitz, who also holds the Strategic Affairs and International Relations
portfolios, told an energy and business conference in Ramat
“Tomorrow, there will be a return to the negotiations table in
Geneva, and in light of the agreement taking shape, I’d like to clarify that the
government of Israel believes this is a bad deal. No one can force us to take
part in the celebration, which could be a fake celebration.
important to stress that if someone thinks that it is comfortable and pleasant
to be the one who spoils the celebration, they are wrong. We’d prefer to be part
of the celebration, but on such a critical issue to our welfare and to world
peace, we will not lie to ourselves,” he said.
divisions with the White House as “an argument between friends.
was and remains our ally. The Obama administration has been and remains a
friendly administration, and I have no doubt for a minute in the friendship of
President Obama and the commitment
of the senior members [of his
There is room for a legitimate disagreement, Steinitz
continued, but he condemned what he described as offensive, personal comments
heard in recent days, without going into details.
“We oppose any concept
of an intermediate agreement.
The main problem with an intermediate
agreement is that Iran gets legitimacy to remain a nuclear breakout state for
the first six months.
We’re in favor a real diplomatic solution, one that
is credible and encompassing,” the minister said.
Tehran must commit
itself to giving up the ability to produce nuclear weapons, Steinitz said. “We
won’t be able to trust Iranian promises.
We will be able to, to a certain
degree, trust a disbandment of the Iranian capability,” Steinitz
Israel has no objection to Iranian nuclear reactors used to
generate electricity, but rejects its enrichment of uranium, he said.
won’t join the world that is willing to cheat itself because of its desire to
reach a quick agreement. Iran isn’t Japan. If Iran becomes a nuclear breakout
state, it will produce the bomb,” Steinitz warned.