Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the U.S. proposal to lift sanctions on Iran if Tehran halts its nuclear program a “very bad deal.”
Ahead of a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu told a delegation of American lawmakers that the proposal a “grievous historic error” that would be “the deal of the century for Iran.”
“Israel utterly rejects it,” he said. “Israel will do everything it needs to defend itself and the security of its people.”
White House Press Secretary John Carney confirmed the proposal of limited and “easily reversible” lifting of economic sanctions. The deal is being negotiated between Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Germany.
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Carney said the deal is “absolutely the right approach ... to test whether or not [new Iranian leaders] are serious.”
On Thursday, Obama called the measure “very modest relief” in exchange for stopping Iran from producing highly enriched Uranium.
Obama described the proposal as the “first phase” of a phased agreement.
“I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be — because they got everything and paid nothing,” Netanyahu said. “Everything they wanted.”
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Kerry’s Friday trip to Geneva is viewed as a sign a deal is at hand.
Carney said “there is unity” among the countries in negotiation.
Netanyahu said Israel was “not obliged” to respect the plan.
“There is no daylight between Israel and the United States, between the president and the prime minister, when it comes to the objective of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Carney said. “And all options remain on the table to achieve this objective.”