Netanyahu: Eased sanctions a ‘jackpot’ for Iran nuclear prospects

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE on Sunday blasted the failed negotiations between the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K. and Germany (referred to as the P5+1) in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear program that fell apart over the weekend.

“There’s a broad feeling here that Iran might hit the jackpot here,” Netanyahu said on CBS's "Face the Nation."


The Israeli prime minister said the proposal, which was opposed by the French and collapsed shortly after, would require only a “minor concession” from the Iranians, while allowing the country to continue to enrich uranium for their alleged military nuclear program.

“So Iran effectively becomes a threshold nuclear power nation, makes a minor concession and, in exchange for that, the P5+1 reverses the direction of sanctions, and gives Iran several billion dollars worth of direct assistance,” Netanyahu said.

“This is a huge change from the pressure that was applied on Iran through the effective sanctions on the regime, which brought them to the table in the first place,” he continued. “In other words, Iran gives practically nothing and it gets a hell of a lot.”

Netanyahu said the proposal would provoke a multiplier effect, whereby other countries would rush to ease sanctions on the country.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday the U.S. was in no hurry to come to an agreement that halts the Iranian nuclear program, arguing that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

“We all have said, President Obama has been crystal clear: Don't rush,” Kerry said on "Meet the Press." “We're not in a rush. We need to get the right deal. No deal is better than a bad deal and we are certainly adhering to that concept.”

The P5+1 talks will resume on Nov. 20. Netanyahu said Kerry’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” comment was “the right thing” to say.

The negotiators in Geneva last week sought a potential agreement with Iran whereby the country would temporarily halt its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions. Netanyahu argued that the sanctions wouldn’t require Iran to dismantle any of its centrifuges and that it could ramp up its uranium enrichment to current levels in only a matter of weeks.

The Israeli prime minister seemed to side with Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) over the best course of action. Graham has said he sanctions should be kept in place and be coupled with the threat of military force if Iran didn’t stop enriching uranium and open its doors to prove to the world that it only seeks nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

“I think the president and I share the goal of making sure that Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “Where we might have a difference of opinion is on how to prevent it.”