November 17th, 2013
09:02 AM ET
9 years ago

Netanyahu on Iran: ‘This is a bad deal’

(CNN) - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning against the potential deal over Iran’s nuclear program between Tehran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, along with Germany,.

In an interview that aired Sunday morning on CNN's “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley, Netanyahu said that he prefers a diplomatic solution, but the framework of the current deal being floated will not work.

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"This is a bad deal," he told Crowley. "And in fact, if you do a bad deal, you may get to the point where your only option is a military option. So a bad deal actually can lead you to exactly the place you don't want to be."

The deal, which will be further discussed in another round of talks this week, calls for loosening economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for a suspension of part of its nuclear program.

"I think, if you want a peaceful solution, as I do, then the right thing to do is ratchet up the sanctions," Netanyahu added.

Representatives from Tehran have been meeting this month with their counterparts from the United States, the four other permanent members of the Security Council, and Germany, collectively known as the P5+1. Talks continue this week in Geneva, Switzerland, after the last round of negotiations ended with each side blaming the other for the lack of an agreement.

Still, the U.S. and other countries are "getting close" to an interim deal with Iran that would prevent its nuclear program "from advancing, and roll it back" in key areas, a senior U.S. administration official said.

And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Israel on Friday to discuss the Iranian nuclear negotiations, Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

But Netanyahu remains cautious.

"Iran is practically giving away nothing. It's making a minor concession, which they can reverse in weeks, and you endanger the whole sanctions regime that took years to make" and that has effectively prevented Iran from pursuing nuclear ambitions, he said.

"If you continue the pressure now, you can get Iran to cease and desist," he added later. "You see, the options aren't really a bad deal - and this is a bad deal - or there's a third option. Sanctions. Increase the sanctions."

After he dismissed the "bad deal" repeatedly, he was pressed by Crowley on whether there was any daylight between his position and that of U.S. President Barack Obama, who’s not calling for an immediate boost in sanctions as preferred by Netanyahu.

"The best of friends can have different opinions. We agree on a lot of things, and some things we disagree on," he said, later adding, "We all want the same thing."

- CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Benjamin Netanyahu • Iran • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. CAWinMD

    This is actually a pretty simple choice. We can scuttle this deal as Mr. Netanyahu wants, get no visibility into what Iran is doing, be surprised at some point in time, and enter into a shooting war. Or we can conclude this interim deal to generate some trust, work on a final deal that has rigorous inspections and enforceable caps on enrichment of uranium and the like, and change the dynamic of the festering sore that is the Middle East. Does an intrusive inspection program mean that the Iranians can't cheat? Of course not. Much will depend on what the long-term deal looks like as to what possibilities the US will have if that comes about. But one thing is certain - if we ratchet up the sanctions now, Iran gets to do all their work in secret where we can't see it, and that path leads us to war with Iran at some point in time. That can't be the best path for the US.

    November 17, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Duane Donecker

    I don't know why people don't want to take what Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say's seriously. Israelis live here, work here and have survived hear because they have ears every where and the P5+1 needs to listen before they act to hastily and end up in a situation they are trying to prevent in the first place!!

    November 17, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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