Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday slammed the landmark nuclear accord hammered out between the world powers and Iran as a 'historic mistake' and hinted that he remained 'committed' to order military action against Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Netanyahu's comments came at the start of a meeting with visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders. Netanyahu, who had stated that he would relate to the details of the accord at a latter time, said it is the result of wanting to reach an agreement 'at any price.'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in his office in Jerusalem on July 14, 2015, after world powers reached a historic nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu said after the deal was reached that Israel was not bound by it and signalled he remained ready to order military action. Pic/AFP
The Prime Minister said that the powers negotiating with Iran - the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany made far reaching concessions on the areas meant to prevent Iran from ever being able to obtain nuclear arms. "Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said.
"Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world," the Premier said on Israel's arch-foe. "It is impossible to prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who chant 'Death to America' even during the negotiations," he said.
Led by the United States the so-called P5+1 countries reached the landmark agreement with Iran after more than 20 months of intense negotiations, mostly held in Vienna or Geneva.
Netanyahu's remarks came even as US President Barack Obama assured that as part of the deal Iran will remove two thirds of its installed centrifuges, the machines necessary to produce highly enriched uranium for a bomb and store them under constant international supervision.
Iran will not use its advanced centrifuges to produce enriched uranium for the next decade. Iran will also get rid of 98 per cent of its stockpile of enriched uranium, he said. Netanyahu said that because the Israeli government knew that the desire to reach an agreement was greater than anything else, it never committed itself to prevent the accord.
"We did commit ourselves to preventing Iran from arming with nuclear weapons, and in my eyes that commitment still stands," he said. Netanyahu, coming under withering criticism from the opposition for what is being termed a colossal failure on his part to stop the agreement, called for Israel's political leaders to put party politics aside and unite around a most fateful issue for Israel's future and security.
"This is a bad mistake of historic proportions," Netanyahu asserted. Ultra-nationalist former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman condemned the deal, calling it 'a danger for the future'. "History will remember the Iran deal just like the Munich Agreement (with Nazi Germany) and the agreement with North Korea," Lieberman said echoing similar sentiments.
According to the deal, if Iran violates the agreement then international sanctions will be restored within 65 days and the IAEA would have to confirm prior to the lifting of each sanction that Iran had fulfilled its obligations, media reports said.