Netanyahu: Israel not bound by Iran deal

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday denounced a deal between world powers and Iran to curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief, saying Israel would not be bound by the agreement.

“This agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place,” he said.

“Israel is not bound by this agreement,” Netanyahu added. “We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The agreement, struck early Sunday in Geneva, includes a six-month program to limit how much the nation could enrich its uranium, making it more difficult for Iran to weaponize it. It would also cap Iran’s nuclear stockpile and halt work on components of another nuclear reactor that could provide Iran with plutonium.

Those new limitations, combined with heightened oversight from outside inspectors, are all aimed at making it significantly more difficult for Iran to turn its existing nuclear capabilities into a nuclear bomb.

“This first step could very well be the last step,” Netanyahu said, adding that Iran has no incentive to dismantle its nuclear capability under the initial agreement, given the billions of dollars of sanctions relief included in the deal.

Netanyahu said Iran is taking only “cosmetic steps” with its nuclear program that could be reversed in only weeks.

Israel has many friends, Netanyahu added, but said it was his responsibility to speak out when those friends were “mistaken.”

President Obama hailed the agreement in remarks late Saturday at the White House.

"For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back," Obama said.

Obama is expected to call Netanyahu on Sunday.

"It will make our partners in the region safer. It will make our ally Israel safer," Secretary of State John Kerry said.

But Republicans reacted to the deal to slow Iran’s nuclear with skepticism.

“Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven’t gained anything,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted.