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Israel May Have to Settle for 'Less Bad' Deal

Economics Minister says a deal that defines "precise parameters” would be “an extraordinary achievement.”
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/18/2013, 9:20 AM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, the chairman of the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party, told IDF Radio Monday that Israel's diplomatic offensive regarding the Iranian nuclear program is bearing fruit. He said that there is a change in “the discourse” on the subject, without going into details.

However, in response to the interviewer's questions, Bennett acknowledged that Israel may not get the P5+1 nations to insist with Iran on the conditions Israel wants, and that Israel may have to settle for a deal that is just “less bad” than what is currently being offered to Iran.

Bennett outlined some of the questions that the deal would need to address: “What are the parameters of the deal? What is the exit point of the deal? What happens at the end of the six months? Do we define what is a good deal at the end of the road – a dismantling of the [enrichment] machine – and what is a bad deal? And what happens if, at the end of the six months, Iran does not advance in the right direction? Do we put the sanctions back in place?”

"If we can define the precise parameters now, that is an extraordinary achievement,” he said.

Bennett's words come as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues to warn of the dangers of a "bad deal" with Tehran.

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Netanyahu described the offer currently on the table at international talks as an "enormous deal" which would endanger the sanctions regime which took years to build up, while Iran would keep every one of its 18,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium.

Under the current proposed deal “They're not giving up even one centrifuge,” he stressed.