Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the agreement forged in the early morning hours in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear program a “historic mistake.”
Netanyahu made his first comments on the P5+1 deal at the beginning of a Sunday cabinet meeting.
“What was achieved last night in Geneva is not an historic agreement; it is an historic mistake,” Netanyahu said. “Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world.”
“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. Sanctions that required many years to put in place contain the best chance for a peaceful solution,” he continued.
“These sanctions have been given up in exchange for cosmetic Iranian concessions that can be cancelled in weeks. This agreement and what it means endanger many countries including, of course, Israel. Israel is not bound by this agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. As Prime Minister of Israel, I would like to make it clear: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability.”
Secretary of State John Kerry, making the rounds on the morning news shows, said on ABC the deal “is not the art of fantasy or the art of the ideal.”
“It’s the art of the possible, which is verifiable and clear in its capacity to be able to make Israel and the region safer,” Kerry said. “…Therefore, Israel will be safer, the region will be safer.”
When confronted with Netanyahu’s reaction, Kerry defended the deal as “the beginning and first step.”
“It leads us into the negotiation so that we guarantee that while we are negotiating for the dismantling, while we are negotiating for the tougher provisions, they will not grow the program and their capacity to threaten Israel,” he said. “Israel will actually gain a larger breathing space in terms of the breakout capacity of Iran. It’s just clear.”