Netanyahu angry that nuclear talks go on while Iran vows to destroy Israel
In tones of moral outrage, he issued a brief, infuriated statement to camera, protesting that the talks were continuing in Lausanne even as Iran reiterated its insistent goal of destroying the Jewish state.
“Yesterday, an Iranian general brazenly declared, and I quote, ‘Israel’s destruction is nonnegotiable,’” Netanyahu began, referring to a statement by Mohammad Reza Naqd, the commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
“But evidently, giving Iran’s murderous regime a clear path to the bomb is negotiable,” he said. “This is unconscionable.”
Netanyahu’s comments came as diplomats from Iran and a group of six world powers, led by the United States, resumed negotiations over the terms of a nuclear deal, hours after a deadline for such a deal elapsed.
He charged that Iran’s actions and ongoing “aggression” across the Middle East proved it did not intend to give up its nuclear and regional ambitions.
“I agree with those who have said that Iran’s claim that its nuclear programme is only for peaceful purposes doesn’t square with Iran’s insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges, and a heavy water reactor,” he said. “Nor does it square with Iran’s insistence on developing (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles ICBMs), and its refusal to come clean with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its past weaponisation efforts.
“At the same time, Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror, subjugation and conquest throughout the region, most recently in Yemen,” he continued.
Netanyahu’s reference to “those who have said” Iran does not require such capabilities marked the second time in two days that he has obliquely referred to comments made by President Barack Obama at the Saban Conference in December 2013, without citing Obama by name. The two leaders are bitterly at odds over strategies for thwarting Iran.
The prime minister claimed that “the concessions offered to Iran in Lausanne would ensure a bad deal that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world,” and called on the international community “to insist on a better deal… which would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure” and “link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme to a change in Iran’s behavior.”