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November 10, 2013 12:50 pm

Netanyahu Asks World Leaders ‘Why the Haste?’ to Reach Agreement With Iran

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was pleased that world leaders didn’t rush to end sanctions against the Iranian regime, as reports from the negotiations in Geneva indicated that negotiators were close to accepting Iran’s terms to continue its nuclear program.

Speaking at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, “Over the weekend I spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. I told them that according to the information reaching Israel, the apparent deal is bad and dangerous. It is dangerous not just for us, it is also dangerous for them.”

“It is dangerous for world peace because it lowers the pressure of sanctions that took years to build while on the other hand, Iran, in practice, retains its nuclear enrichment capability as well as the ability to advance along the plutonium track. I emphasize that the proffered deal does not include the dismantling of even one centrifuge.”

“I asked all the leaders – why the haste? I proposed that they wait, that they consider the matter seriously. This is an historic process and these are historic decisions. I asked to wait.”

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“It is good that this is what was decided in the end but I am not deluding myself – there is a strong desire to reach an agreement, I hope not an agreement at any price, and if there is to be an agreement then it needs to be a good agreement and not a bad agreement. I hope that they will reach a good agreement and we will do our utmost to convince the major powers and the leaders to avoid a bad agreement.”

Netanyahu’s comments came as Wendy Sherman, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, arrived in Israel on Sunday for meetings with senior government officials to further discuss the Iran negotiations.

The Israeli prime minister also noted that the cabinet recognized the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night of “broken glass” that signaled the start of the Holocaust.

“It is very disturbing that precisely now we are witness to the phenomenon of swastikas and Nazi-style salutes on Palestinian networks,” Netanyahu said. “This is a direct result of the continued wild incitement against the State of Israel. This is not the way to achieve peace.”

“Neither will peace be achieved by international pressure on Israel. No pressure will lead us to abandon our vital interests. An agreement will be achieved only when Israel receives an appropriate response regarding its vital interests, especially security, but also others which are part of our heritage and part of our future.”

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