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      Yaalon to World Powers: Don't Make a Historical Mistake

      The West must not sign a bad deal with Iran that will allow it to continue its nuclear program, says Israeli Defense Minister.
      By Elad Benari and Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 11/11/2013, 2:12 AM

      Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon explained on Sunday that the agreement being formulated in Geneva between Iran and the six world powers was a bad one because it lets Iran off the hook when it comes to the sanctions, while allowing it to continue its nuclear program.

      “The framework of the agreement that is being formed in Geneva between the powers and the Iranian regime is a bad framework, because on the one hand, it meaningfully lightens the burden of sanctions on Iran, and on the other hand allows this extremist regime to keep the military nuclear option,” said Yaalon.

      “This is surprising because when the Iranian regime came to the talks it desperately needed to have an agreement, while the powers did not, and yet we are getting a bad deal,” he added, noting that Western powers should remember that Iran is behind many terrorist attacks in the world.

      “Whoever is dealing with this matter on the western side, the powers – needs to know that the Iranian regime is extremist, it directs terrorism, funds terror and supports terror, not just in Lebanon with Hezbollah and not just with the Palestinian terror organizations but also in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Bahrain, and Yemen, and in South America and Asia, and that is why it is unacceptable that this unconventional  regime will have unconventional weapons is unacceptable,” said Yaalon.

      “There is still a chance, because this regime came [to the talks] crawling on all fours, because of the economic situation – and missing this opportunity might be a historical mistake by the powers,” he added.

      Three days of Iran's talks with the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, known as the P5+1, ended on Saturday with no agreement but the two sides will meet again on November 20.

      Western diplomats had entered into talks with notable optimism, but cracks began to show among world powers when France raised concerns that the deal did not go far enough towards curbing Tehran's pursuit of nuclear arms.

      Israeli officials, primarily Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, have been warning that a deal that eases the sanctions on Iran without forcing it to end its nuclear program would be a very bad deal.

      On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. is "not blind, and I don't think we're stupid" in nuclear talks with Iran.

      He insisted there is "zero gap" between the Obama administration and its commitment to Israel, with diplomatic relations between the two allies under strain over the Iran nuclear talks.