British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday, after previously saying he was "confident" he could change Netanyahu's mind on the deal that Israel has said will pave Iran's way to a nuclear arsenal.
In a joint press conference, the two faced off over the deal, with Hammond saying he realized Israel "disagreed fundamentally" to the nuclear deal but adding that he felt it was the best option.
"Iran remains the world's preeminent sponsor of terrorism. Iran's terrorist activities encompass over thirty countries, across five continents. The deal agreed to in Vienna, I regret to say, paves this terrorist regime's path to the bomb," warned Netanyahu.
"The alternative to this bad deal is not war. The alternative is a better deal that would roll back Iran's military nuclear program and tie the easing of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iran's behavior," he added, saying the deal "lifts the sanctions today and paves a path to the bomb tomorrow. That's not a triumph for diplomacy, but a failure of diplomacy."
Netanyahu noted that "the Iran deal in Vienna grants Iran not one, but two paths to the bomb. Iran can get to the bomb by cheating and overcoming a porous inspections mechanism, as did North Korea. Or it can get the bomb by keeping the deal, because the deal allows Iran in about a decade to have a much greater number of even faster, more effective centrifuges than they have today. This will able Iran to have the capacity to produce the enriched uranium for an entire nuclear arsenal with zero breakout time. And ten years go by in the blink of an eye."
"It cannot be that an unreformed, unrepentant Iran, that seeks continuously to wipe us off the map, dispatches killers to kill our people - and not only our people...is given the sanctions relief, is given the removal of limitations on its nuclear program, without changing its genocidal policies against Israel, its terrorist activities in the region and beyond the region, its commitment to exporting the Islamic revolution throughout the world," said Netanyahu.
Netanyahu corrected Hammond after the latter said sanctions relief will be dependent on Iran's actions, saying, "there is no requirement for Iran to change its behavior and that's what makes this deal fundamentally wrong."
He asked why the UK did not condemn Iran for its annual "Death to Israel" rally last Friday, in which Israeli - as well as British - flags were burned.
"We will judge Iran not by the chants on the streets of Tehran, but by the actions of its government," Hammond answered, even though Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last Wednesday that the annual Quds Day was a chance for Iran to "shout its hatred" of Israel.
Netanyahu responded that Iran has many thousands of rockets aimed at Israel, "thousands of which have already been fired on us," making the threat more than mere chants. Likewise the release of sanctions will free up hundreds of billions of dollars for Iran to continue fueling regional terror.
"We would not have agreed to the deal unless we were sure we had robust measures in place to deliver effective oversight of Iran's nuclear program," Hammond said. "Despite our different views, I urge Israel to work with the UK to ensure the deal's fully implemented and effectively monitored."
As details of the deal surface, it has become clear that it ignores key covert nuclear installations in Iran, and likewise stipulates that the West will train Iran to defend its nuclear program from sabotage, meaning a possible peaceful route for Israel to delay Iran's march to the nuclear bomb would be removed due to the West's intervention.