Israeli leaders reject deal on Iran nuclear program

( Israeli leaders rejected the deal reached in Geneva under which Iran has promised to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent and dilute all existing stockpiles already enriched to 20 percent, in exchange for $7 billion in sanctions relief.

The Iran nuclear program's Arak heavy water reactor. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. 

“For the first time, the world’s leading powers have agreed to uranium enrichment in Iran while ignoring the UN Security Council decisions that they themselves led,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday. "Sanctions that required many years to put in place contain the best chance for a peaceful solution. These sanctions have been given up in exchange for cosmetic Iranian concessions that can be canceled in weeks.”

Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel “does not see itself as bound by this bad, this very bad agreement that has been signed.”

“If the State of Israel sees that Iran is endangering it, the State of Israel is permitted to defend itself and is capable of defending itself,” Bennett told Army Radio.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the deal is “not a Western achievement, but rather a surrender to the Iranian smile and charm offensive and Iranian deceit, the goal of which is to buy time without its military nuclear program being harmed in any practical way.”

“A diplomatic accord is certainly better than war, a diplomatic accord is better than a situation of permanent confrontation—just not this agreement,” said Finance Minister Yaid Lapid.

Posted on November 24, 2013 .