Netanyahu: Iran Nuclear Deal a 'Historic Mistake'

As Iraq, Syria praise deal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2013 5:58 AM CST
Netanyahu: Iran Nuclear Deal a 'Historic Mistake'
In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the 68th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters.   (Seth Wenig)

Israel's prime minister harshly condemned the international community's nuclear deal with Iran today, calling it a "historic mistake" and saying he was not bound by the agreement. Speaking to his Cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the world had become a "more dangerous place" as a result of the deal and reiterated a long-standing threat to use military action against Iran if needed, declaring that Israel "has the right and the duty to defend itself by itself." Netanyahu told his Cabinet that the deal gave Iran much-needed relief from the sanctions, but left most of Iran's nuclear infrastructure intact. In particular, he cited Iran's continued ability to enrich uranium, a key step in making a nuclear bomb.

Earlier, Netanyahu's Cabinet minister for intelligence issues, Yuval Steinitz, said the deal was based on "Iranian deception and (international) self-delusion." Yet he and other officials said Israel would have to turn its focus to the outcome of the final negotiations. Iran's allies, meanwhile, lined up behind the deal. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Moussawi called it a "step forward in order to solve other regional problems." The Syrian government, which relies on Iran's support in its battle against rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad, also said it was proof that negotiations were the best way to resolve a conflict. (More Benjamin Netanyahu stories.)

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