Obama Rejects Demand for Iran to Recognize Israel

US President Barack Obama rejects Israel's demands for Iran to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, says it's asking too much.

Arutz Sheva Staff, | updated: 07:35

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Reuters

US President Barack Obama has rejected a call by Israel for any nuclear agreement with Iran to be conditional on Tehran's recognition of the Jewish state's right to exist, branding it a "fundamental misjudgement."

Speaking after Israel proposed its own terms for the accord, Obama told US radio network NPR Monday that demands for Iran to recognize the country go beyond the scope of the agreement.

"The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognising Israel, is really akin to saying that we won't sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms," he said in a drive to sell the deal to a hostile Congress.

"And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgement."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu demanded Sunday that Iranian recognition of the Jewish state's right to exist be written into the agreement.

Intelligence minister Yuval Steinitz told journalists Monday that while an earlier pledge by Obama to back Israel's security was appreciated, it did not outweigh the potential threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

"If Iran will produce nuclear weapons, this is an existential threat to Israel," Steinitz said.

"Nobody can tell us that backing and assistance are enough to completely resist or to neutralise such a threat."

Steinitz proposed that the emerging deal between Iran and world powers should incorporate a total halt to research and development on a new generation of centrifuges, a cut in the number of existing centrifuges and closure of the Fordo facility for enrichment of uranium.

He also proposed that Tehran detail its past nuclear arms research and allow international inspectors to make spot checks "anywhere, anytime".

If such terms were accepted, Steinitz said, "it will not be a good agreement but it will be a more reasonable agreement."

AFP contributed to this report.




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