Easing sanction against Iran historic mistake: Netanyahu

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 17:45

Jerusalem: Any move to ease sanctions against Iran would be a "historic mistake", Israel`s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned as Tehran resumed talks with six world powers over its controversial nuclear programme.

"Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons," Netanyahu asserted at a meeting of the Knesset`s (Israeli parliament) winter session.

"It would be a historic mistake to reduce pressure on Iran now, a moment before sanctions achieve their goal... We need to remember that international pressure is what is bringing results inside Iran, bringing them to the negotiating table, and will bring them to concede," he said.

Iran and P5+1 countries - the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany - launched the two-day closed-door talks in Geneva as pressure mounted on the Islamic Republic to scale back on its disputed nuclear programme to win relief from crippling sanctions.

The Israeli Premier also dismissed gaining notion that weakening sanctions support moderate trends in Iran. He argued that it will rather strengthen Iran`s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who will portray the change as a victory.

"Many in the world understand that an Iran with nuclear weapons is not only a danger for Israel..." he said, warning against any concessions to Iran`s newly elected President Hassan Rouhani as his conciliatory tone has raised hopes of a breakthrough in the decade-long dispute over Tehran`s nuclear programme.

"Iran is developing intercontinental missiles that can hold nuclear warheads; they can reach anywhere in the Middle East, Europe, the US and other parts of the world," Netanyahu said.

The Geneva talks are aimed at reaching a deal over Iran`s nuclear programme, which Israel and the West claim is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Tehran has maintained that its nuclear programme is peaceful in nature.

Iran has been slapped with several rounds of sanctions by the west because of its nuclear programme.

Israel`s President Shimon Peres argued that the world must judge Iran through its actions and not its words. He warned that "a nuclear Iran is a danger to the whole world and destabilises the region."

Israel considers a nuclear Iran an existential threat for itself and is though supportive of diplomatic efforts to foil its ambitions has from time to time issued veiled threats of launching a military attack by saying "all options are open on the table".

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 17:45

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