Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Sunday, saying in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation”, ‘Iran cannot be allowed to become a nuclear threshold state.’
• PM: Israel supports the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State group.
With the Nov. 24 deadline for a nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran fast approaching, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Sunday that any deal allowing Iran to maintain enrichment capabilities, essentially making it a threshold nuclear state, would be bad for the world.
In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Netanyahu delivered perhaps his sternest note of caution to date to the U.S.
“Iran is not your ally,” Netanyahu said. “Iran is not your friend. Iran is your enemy. It’s not your partner. Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel.”
Netanyahu argued that the U.S. cannot work with Iran because the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called for the annihilation of Israel as recently as four days ago.
“This is not a friend, neither in the battle against ISIS nor in the great effort that should be made to deprive him of the capacity to make nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “Don’t fall for Iran’s ruse, they are not your friend.
“It’s not merely preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons today, it’s to prevent them… from having nuclear weapons tomorrow. That means that Iran should not be left with the residual capacity to enrich uranium that you need to have an atomic bomb, nor to have the long-range ballistic missiles — the ICBMs, intercontinental ballistic missile — to launch them.”
The prime minister described Israel as the United States’ real ally in the fight against ISIS.
“We support you in this battle,” Netanyahu said. “We support President Obama in leading this coalition.”
In a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated his warning: “Iran wants to achieve a threshold nuclear status without giving up its sanctions, the sanctions that are pressing on its economy. I think to award it that status, to give Iran the capacity to enrich uranium in short order would be a colossal mistake. I think it would move security and peace away. It would also make it very difficult to achieve a diplomatic solution because Iran would have the capacity to break to a nuclear bomb or to sneak to a nuclear bomb within a matter of a few months, or even less than that, and that is something that would threaten everyone. It would be bad for Israel, bad for Europe and bad for the peace of the world.”
During the meeting, which was also attended by International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, the prime minister said, “I believe that the alternative to a bad deal is not war but continued sanctions, which will make Iran dismantle its capacity to make nuclear weapons.”
Meanwhile, talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries are scheduled to resume Tuesday in Vienna, Austria.
In a November 14 Friday sermon in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Movahedi-Kermani said: “The Sejjil ballistic missile can hit and raze to the ground any place in Israel, as well as any American base in the region,” and the crowds responded with cries of: “Death to America! Death to England! Death to Israel!”
The sermon was broadcast on Iran’s TV Channel 1.
The British newspaper The Guardian, quoting several diplomats, reported the sides “are close to a historic, comprehensive agreement.”
According to the report, “The residual obstacles are more political than substantial, determined by the need of President Barack Obama’s administration and [Iranian] President Hassan Rouhani’s reformist government in Iran to reassure conservatives at home, rather than by the actual requirements of Iran’s nuclear energy program or genuine nonproliferation concerns.”
With that, it is possible the sides will not reach a deal, which could lead to the U.S. Congress imposing tighter sanctions on Iran.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21505