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Israel urges powers to wrestle for better nuclear deal with Iran

Xinhua, April 12, 2015 Adjust font size:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged on Sunday the international community to reach a better deal with Iran, saying that Iran "needs a deal more than anyone."

"Instead of making dangerous concessions to Iran, now is the time for the international community to reassert and fortify its original demands for a better deal," Netanyahu said in a statement issued through his office to the press.

The Israeli Prime Minister offered two main components of the alternative to the framework deal reached by Iran and the P5+1 countries (the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany) in Switzerland on April 2, which he called "bad deal."

"First, instead of allowing Iran to preserve and develop its nuclear capabilities, a better deal would significantly roll back these capabilities, for example, by shutting down the illicit underground facilities that Iran concealed for years from the international community," he said.

Second, instead of lifting the restrictions on Iran's nuclear facilities and program at a fixed date, Netanyahu said "a better deal would link the lifting of these restrictions to an end of Iran's aggression in the region, its worldwide terrorism and its threats to annihilate Israel."

Netanyahua also accused Iran of insisting on "maintaining its formidable nuclear capabilities with which it could produce nuclear bombs."

"Iran refuses to allow effective inspections of its suspect facilities and continues its unbridled aggression in the region and its terrorism throughout the world," Netanyahu added.

Iran had repeatedly insisted that its nuclear plan is aimed at peaceful purposes.

Netanyahu's statement comes in response to reported comments made by U.S. President Barack Obama, who slammed Netanyahu for opposing the framework agreement without offering any viable alternative.

The P5+1 countries started negotiations with Iran over its nuclear plan in mid-2013, reaching an interim agreement in November 2013.

Whereas the P5+1 countries want to curb Iran's nuclear plan and its ability to manufacture nuclear weapons, Iran demands the countries lift the debilitating economic sanctions imposed on it by the international community for more than a decade.

Following the framework agreement reached earlier this month, sides are expected to ink a final agreement by June 30.

Earlier on Sunday, the Ha'aretz daily reported that Netanyahu told ministers in a cabinet meeting a day after the framework agreement was announced that he fears Iran would honor the nuclear deal.

The officials added that Netanyahu is afraid that "the Iranians will keep to every letter of the agreement," and with that turn the international community "complacent" over the prospects of Iranian nuclear weapons.

"Netanyahu said at the meeting that it would be impossible to catch the Iranians cheating simply because they will not break the agreement," the officials were quoted as saying.

The Israeli Prime Minister had repeatedly said in the past several years that a nuclear Iran would pose an "existential threat" to Israel and the Middle East, adding the recent framework agreement "threatens the survival of Israel."

The differing outlooks on the Iranian nuclear agreement have increased the animosity between the two leaders and struck a blow to the relationship between the two close allies. Endit