Bibi: “A very, very bad deal” on Iran
From the Prime Minister’s Office:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning, made the following remarks prior to his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry:
“I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be, because they got everything, and paid nothing, they wanted. They wanted relief from sanctions after years of a grueling sanctions regime. They got that. They are paying nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability. So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal. This is a very bad deal. Israel utterly rejects it and what I am saying is shared by many, many in the region whether or not they express it publicly. Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to defend itself, to defend the security of its people. That is true also of our negotiations with the Palestinians. I will never compromise on Israel’s security and our vital interests, not in the face of any international pressure. I think the pressure has to be put where it belongs, that is on the Palestinians who refuse to budge. But I think in any case, no amount of pressure will make me or the Government of Israel compromise on the basic security and national interests of the State of Israel. The people of Israel know this and they support it, as they should.”
After the meeting with Kerry:
“I met Secretary Kerry right before he leaves to Geneva. I reminded him that he said that no deal is better than a bad deal. And the deal that is being discussed in Geneva right now is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. Iran is not required to take apart even one centrifuge. But the international community is relieving sanctions on Iran for the first time after many years. Iran gets everything that it wanted at this stage and pays nothing. And this is when Iran is under severe pressure. I urge Secretary Kerry not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal. But this is a bad deal, a very, very, bad deal. It’s the deal of a century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community.”
The Telegraph reports on the expected parameters of the deal. For a (presumed) six month period:
- Iran would stop enriching uranium to the 20 per cent level that is close to weapons-grade – and turn its existing stockpile of this material into harmless oxide.
- Iran would continue enrichment to the 3.5 per cent purity needed for nuclear power stations – but agree to limit the number of centrifuges being used for this purpose. There would, however, be no requirement to remove or disable any other centrifuges.
- Iran would agree not to activate its plutonium reactor at Arak, which could provide another route to a nuclear weapons -capability, during the six-month period. Iran may, however, continue working on the facility.
- Iran would agree not to use its more advanced IR-2 centrifuges, which can enrich uranium between three and five times faster than the older model.
In return, America would ease economic sanctions, possibly by releasing some Iranian foreign exchange reserves currently held in frozen accounts. In addition, some restrictions affecting Iran’s petrochemical, motor and precious metals industries could be relaxed.
All this comes after John Kerry was unusually blunt in criticizing all building of Jewish homes across the Green Line, no matter where.