Israel Proposes New Terms for Final Iran Deal

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz outlines to journalists Israel's proposed terms for final nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1 powers.

Cynthia Blank ,

Юваль Штайниц
Юваль Штайниц
Flash 90

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) proposed on Monday new terms for a final nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 world powers, which is set to be signed in June. 

Speaking with journalists, Steinitz outlined Israel's proposed terms, which include a total halt to the research and development of new centrifuges, as well as a cut in the number of existing centrifuges. 

The Fordow uranium enrichment facility would also be shut down, according to Steinitz's proposal, and Iran would need to give a full account of its past nuclear research, as well as allow international inspector to make on the spot checks "anywhere, anytime."

According to Steinitz, these terms would be a vast improvement to the framework drafted last week, and while "it will not be a good will be a more reasonable agreement."

The Intelligence Minister also addressed US President Barack Obama's message of solidarity with Israel, in which the President declared the Jewish state's vulnerability would be a "fundamental failure of my presidency."

Although appreciative of Obama's pledge to defend Israel's security, Steinitz argued it did outweigh the dangerous 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 neutralize such a threat".

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been very vocal in the past of his opposition to a deal with Iran, and he and his government were quick in expressing their fierce opposition to the draft agreement announced on Thursday. 

"Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons, period," Netanyahu charged. 

Since Thursday's announcement, Israeli officials have been studying the proposals carefully, Steinitz said. 

"A comprehensive analysis of the Lausanne framework reveals the extent of the irresponsible concessions given to Iran and makes clear how dangerous the framework is for Israel, the region and the entire world," he said.

"We are going to do an additional effort to convince the US administration, to convince Congress, to convince Britain and France and Russia not to sign this bad deal, or at least to dramatically change it and fix it."

Although Israel prefers a diplomatic solution to the issue, Steinitz acknowledged, it was still reserving the right to take military action against Iran should it be necessary. 

"It's still on the table, it's going to remain on the table," he said. "It's our right and duty to decide how to defend ourselves, especially if our national security and even very existence are under threat."

AFP contributed to this report.