“A bad deal is worse than no deal" with Iran over its disputed nuclear program, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, as part of a series of interviews he gave to European media ahead of crunch talks between Tehran and world powers.
In excerpts of an interview with the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published in advance and quoted by AFP, he called for sanctions on the Tehran regime to be stepped up rather than eased.
"A bad deal is worse than no deal," the prime minister was quoted as saying.
Iran "will ask for a partial lifting of sanctions for cosmetic concessions that would leave them with the ability to have a nuclear weapons capability," Netanyahu told the German newspaper.
He cautioned that Iran was far more dangerous than nuclear-armed North Korea and bent on spreading terror in the world.
"You demand enrichment if you want to build nuclear weapons," he stressed.
Global powers accuse Iran of seeking to obtain a nuclear bomb under the guise of what Tehran insists is its civilian atomic energy program.
However, recent U.S.-Iranian talks have raised hopes of progress in Geneva on October 15-16 when Iran meets the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, collectively known as P5+1.
In a separate interview with rolling news channel France24, Netanyahu urged France to be tough on Iran "with or without Rouhani's smiles."
"If they really wanted to dismantle their nuclear weapons program, they'dcome out with it," he charged.
Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, has come out strongly in favor of a quick deal after negotiations over the nuclear program practically stalled for eight years.
According to a Wall Street Journal report a few days ago, Iran has prepared a set of proposals that it will take to the meeting in Geneva next week as its bargaining chip to see crippling sanctions lifted from the country.
As an opening position in negotiations with the P5+1 group, the newspaper has said Tehran will offer to stop enriching uranium to levels of 20% purity, a level considered close to that needed to make nuclear weapons.