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Israel strongly opposes framework agreement with Iran: Netanyahu

Xinhua, April 3, 2015 Adjust font size:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed Israel's strong opposition to the world's framework nuclear agreement with Iran when speaking to U.S. President Barack Obama late Thursday evening, the Prime Minister's office said early Friday.

Netanyahu told Obama that the framework deal "poses a grave danger to Israel, the region and the world," his office said in a statement.

"A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel," he said, adding that the deal would also "legitimize Iran 's nuclear program, bolster Iran's economy, and increase Iran's aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond."

"Such a deal would not block Iran's path to the bomb. It would pave it," he continued. "It would increase the risks of nuclear proliferation in the region and the risks of a horrific war."

Foreign ministers of the U.S. and other major powers -- Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany -- agreed on Thursday on parameters to resolve major issues on Iran's nuclear program, following eight-day-long intense negotiations in the Swiss city of Lausanne, with a view to sealing a final comprehensive pact by the end of June.

The European Union's Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini said at a press conference in Switzerland that "a decisive step" has been achieved, in a joint statement announcing the framework along with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zariff.

U.S. President Barack Obama hailed the "historic" framework deal, calling it a "good" one that "meets our core objectives" and will prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Prior to Netanyahu's statement, Israeli officials expressed overnight Thursday that the framework agreement is a "historic mistake" which would make the world more dangerous.

The Israeli officials, who insisted on anonymity, said with this framework agreement, the P5+1 countries, have "succumbed to Iranian dictates" that "will not lead to a peaceful nuclear program, but for war purposes."

"This is a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous agreement," senior officials in Jerusalem told Xinhua. "If the final agreement will be based on these lines it would be a historic mistake, legitimizing Iran's nuclear program aims to produce nuclear bombs," they added.

Earlier on Thursday evening, Israel's Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said the framework agreement is "far from being real" and said Israel will "continue its efforts in the hopes of preventing a bad deal."

"All options are on the table" in order to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear weapons, including a military option, the minister said in an interview with Israel Radio. Endite