Premier said to have rebuked Obama over Iran nuclear deal
by JPOST.COM STAFF, jpost.com / November 25th 2013 1:21 PM
A lawmaker from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud faction told an Israeli television station on Monday that the premier rebuked US President Barack Obama over the interim agreement agreed upon by the Western powers and Iran on Sunday.
“The prime minister made it clear to the most powerful man on earth that if he intends to stay the most powerful man on earth, it’s important to make a change in American policy because the practical result of his current policy is liable to lead him to the same failure that the Americans absorbed in North Korea and Pakistan, and Iran could be next in line,” Likud Beytenu MK Tzachi Hanegbi told the Knesset Channel.
Netanyahu said that he agreed with US President Barack Obama to send the Israeli delegation to the US when the two leaders spoke about the interim Iran deal on Sunday.
“I spoke last night with President Obama. We agreed that in the coming days an Israeli team led by the national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, will go out to discuss with the United States the permanent accord with Iran,” the prime minister said.
“This accord must bring about one outcome: the dismantling of Iran’s military nuclear capability,” he said
Netanyahu added that the interim deal reached with Iran was bad but it would have been worse without Israel’s diplomatic efforts.
Obama called Netanyahu on Sunday from Air Force One to discuss the interim agreement struck between world powers and Iran over its controversial nuclear program.
In the call, Obama told Netanyahu that the P5+1 — the US, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany — would use the next several months to forge a “lasting, peaceful and comprehensive” solution to the slow-motion nuclear crisis causing consternation throughout the Middle East.
“The president told the Prime Minister that he wants the United States and Israel to begin consultations immediately regarding our efforts to negotiate a comprehensive solution,” the White House said in a readout of the call.
“The President underscored that the United States will remain firm in our commitment to Israel, which has good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions.”
While the White House said both leaders expressed their mutual desire to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, it did not acknowledge any disagreement voiced in the phone call.
Netanyahu on Sunday called the deal, hailed by the US, a “historic mistake” that would make the region more dangerous tomorrow than it was before.
After a hard series of negotiations, Iran agreed late Saturday night to pause much of its nuclear program, including construction on its heavy-water plutonium reactor in Arak and the installation of advanced centrifuges made to efficiently enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels. Iran also agreed to allow unfettered access to its nuclear sites and to dilute stockpiles of uranium already thoroughly enriched.
In exchange, the Islamic will attain relief from financial sanctions from the international community valued at up to $7 billion.
Michael Wilner contributed to this report.