Iran FM Zarif criticizes Netanyahu for trying to influence nuclear deal

"I don't think trying to create tension and conflict helps anyone," says Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

By REUTERS
March 3, 2015 18:04
1 minute read.
Obama and Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu shakes hands with US President Barack Obama at the White House. (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

 
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WASHINGTON - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to affect negotiations over Iran's nuclear program with his upcoming address to both chambers of the US Congress.

"He's trying to, and I don't think trying to create tension and conflict helps anyone," Zarif said to CNN outside talks in Switzerland with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

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Iran on Tuesday rejected as "unacceptable" a demand by US President Barack Obama that Tehran freeze its sensitive nuclear activities for at least 10 years, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

"Obama's stance...is expressed in unacceptable and threatening phrases...Iran will not accept excessive and illogical demands...Tehran will continue nuclear negotiations with the six powers," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by Fars.

In an interview with Reuters on Monday, Obama said Iran must commit to a verifiable halt of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear work for a landmark atomic deal to be reached between Tehran and six major powers.
Obama: Speaking to Congress a few weeks before election - 'a mistake'

The United States and its European allies fear Iran wants to develop atomic bomb capability. Tehran says its program is for peaceful nuclear energy only.

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