Israel PM `gravely concerned` Iran deal will go through

Last Updated: Monday, November 18, 2013 - 10:41

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he was "gravely concerned" that attempts by world powers to sign a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear programme will succeed.

His remarks were made on the eve of a new round of talks in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers seeking to reach an agreement to scale back Tehran`s contested nuclear programme.

Israel has lashed out at the agreement-in-the-making, saying it offers Iran the "deal of the century."

"I`m concerned, gravely concerned, that this deal will go through and in one stroke of the pen, it will reduce the sanctions on Iran -- sanctions that took years to put in place -- and in return for this, Iran gives practically nothing," Netanyahu said at a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande.

"It`s clear that this agreement is good only for Iran and that it`s really bad for the rest of the world," he said. "Iran`s dream deal is the world`s nightmare."

With the Geneva talks set to resume on November 20, Israel has been locked in a major diplomatic push to convince the international community it would get a better deal if they keep the sanctions in place or even ratchet them up.

France has played a key role in marathon talks with Iran, winning glowing plaudits in Israel for taking a tougher stance than its Western partners in the latest round of negotiations which ended on November 10 without any agreement.

Netanyahu will travel to Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the Iranian issue with President Vladimir Putin, and on Friday he will meet in Jerusalem with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

AFP

First Published: Monday, November 18, 2013 - 10:41

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