The Western powers have extended the deadline for a final agreement with Iran. Israel, meanwhile, is keeping close track of the developments.
After having failed to reach an agreement in time for the November 24 deadline, Iran and the P5+1 (U.S., China, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany) have decided to postpone the final decision on Iran’s nuclear aspirations, pushing the cutoff date to August 2015.
Both sides reported major outstanding issues and agreed to give the negotiations another try.
Fox News quotes Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying on Monday that negotiators were still having “consultations” on a final agreement, including the U.S. demand for heavy restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program as well as Iran’s push against economic sanctions.
A report by the Free Beacon indicates that Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator, is known to scream and shout frequently at Western diplomats, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a practice that has caused alarm among bodyguards stationed outside the negotiating room.
Anxiety in Jerusalem
Meanwhile, Israel can briefly give a sigh of relief but will continue to monitor the developments closely. Jerusalem remains concerned that the Obama Administration will settle for a “bad deal,” as Prime Minister Netanyahu calls it, in order to show a diplomatic achievement.
A bad deal between the West and Iran would mean an imminent threat of annihilation for Israel as well as a huge global threat.
Talking to BBC on Monday, Netanyahu welcomed the postponement, stating: “”No deal is better than a bad deal. The deal that Iran was pushing for was terrible. The deal would have left Iran with the ability to enrich uranium for an atom bomb while removing the sanctions. The right deal that is needed is to dismantle Iran’s capacity to make atomic bombs and only then dismantle the sanctions. Since that’s not in the offing, this result is better, a lot better.”
Netanyahu declared that Iran’s nuclear program was not designed for peaceful means. “How do we know that? Because they’re developing intercontinental ballistic missiles. What do you do with such missiles? The only reason you build ICBMs is to launch a nuclear warhead. So Iran, I think everybody understands, is unabashedly seeking to develop atomic bombs, and I think they shouldn’t have the capacity either to enrich uranium or to deliver nuclear warheads.”
Netanyahu urged the Western powers to stand fast when dealing with the Iranians, saying: “They [P5+1] say, well, it offends Iranian pride. So what? I mean, if this position was taken in the 1930’s against Germany, it would have offended German pride, but it would have saved millions and millions of lives. You do not want to give this medievalist regime in Iran, that throws acid in the faces of women, that oppresses gays, that subjugates an entire population, that exports terrorism far and wide – don’t give these violent medievalists atomic bombs. That’s not a good thing for the future of the world and its security.”
The Israeli leader stated his hope that the economic pressure on Iran will continue. “I think that’s the road that has to be taken. But of course Israel is watching very carefully what is happening here and Israel always, always reserves the right to defend itself,” he said.
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The discussions between Iran and the West regarding Iran’s nuclear aspirations are at a critical point. Israel fears that the Obama Administration will ease the sanctions on Iran to gain diplomatic points. We MUST ensure that Iran does not become nuclear.
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Author: United with Israel Staff