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Netanyahu: Iran Being Given Legitimacy to Become Nuclear

Israel prefers a diplomatic solution to the dispute with Iran, but not the one being proposed now, says PM Netanyahu.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/13/2013, 4:12 AM

Netanyahu speaks at the alternative fuel and energy conference
Netanyahu speaks at the alternative fuel and energy conference
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu once again stressed on Tuesday that while Israel prefers a diplomatic solution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, the deal that is currently being offered to the Islamic Republic is a bad one.

"Israel prefers the diplomatic option over any other option. But we want a genuine diplomatic solution that dismantles Iran's military nuclear capabilities,” Netanyahu said in remarks at the Bloomberg Fuel Choices Summit.

“The proposal that was put on the table, the details of which we are familiar with, is a bad deal. It leaves Iran with nuclear capabilities for military objectives, and provides it with a significant easing of sanctions. The additional danger is that it gives Iran legitimacy to be a nuclear threshold state. That goes against the interest of the international community,” he stressed.

“With every passing day, Iran is under growing economic pressure. One need not be hasty to conclude a bad deal. The time that has been achieved must be utilized for a good deal which dismantles Iran's military nuclear capabilities. The date for achieving such a deal is the date on which such a deal will be achieved," Netanyahu told the conference.

Netanyahu has warned several times over the past week that easing the sanctions on Iran at this time would be a bad idea that would allow it to advance its nuclear program.

Talks in Geneva between Iran and six world powers ended Saturday without an agreement, but will be restarted in Geneva on November 20.

Netanyahu’s warnings against a deal with Iran have resulted in a war of words between him and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry hinted in an interview on Sunday that Netanyahu’s criticism was uncalled for, as he was unaware of the contents of the talks in Geneva.

Netanyahu hit back at Kerry in a speech at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, saying he was “continuously updated in detail” about the talks with Iran.

On Tuesday, the New York Times published an editorial attacking Netanyahu for his opposition to the proposed deal, accusing him of generate “hysterical opposition.”