November 25, 2013

Israel, others call Iran deal historic error

Critics are concerned that the U.S. accord freezes uranium enrichment but does not reduce nuclear capacity.

William Booth and Scott Wilson
The Washington Post

(Continued from page 1)

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The Associated Press

Some skeptics also say that Obama, eager for a foreign policy achievement, may be too willing to allow Iran to preserve its current enrichment program beyond the six months covered by the interim deal.

Israel defends its vociferous campaign against the agreement by pointing out that Israel is the object of Iranian taunts, and saying that a nuclear Iran is not only a geopolitical challenge for Israel, but poses an existential threat.

The most recent proof, officials say, are comments last week by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, who referred to Israel as “the rabid dog of the region” and promised that “the Zionist regime is doomed to destruction.”

“This is the real Iran. We are not confused,” Netanyahu said last week.

Iran says that its nuclear program is peaceful and that it has a right to enrich uranium, like others nations.

Netanyahu stressed Sunday that Israel was not a party to the interim agreement, and would do what it felt was necessary to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, asked whether the interim deal might lead to a military strike by Israel, ominously declined to rule the option out.

“This brings us to a new reality in the whole Middle East, including the Saudis. This isn’t just our worry,” Lieberman told Israel Radio. He called the interim agreement “the biggest diplomatic victory Iran has had in years.... We’ve found ourselves in a completely new situation.”

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