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. Andres

    No matter what you think of Israel and Bibi this attempt by the US to craft a deal with Iran is not only a bad deal for us, it is a terrible deal for the world. What Obama and Kerry won't tell us is that this leaves ALL of the components for nuclear weapons and their delivery in place. Iran already has a tested uranium weapon thanks to the most recent test by North Korea, they already have enough fuel for 3 to 4 weapons in the warehouse, they have a tested delivery system as well. One has to wonder when both Saudi Arabia and Israel get together to undermine the US in its attempt for a deal with Iran. I believe strongly that this president and this sec state desperately want to do a deal, just any deal, just to show the American public they can do a deal. IF this goes through, it may not be this president who deals with the fall out of terrible deal making but a future president will.

    November 17, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Bad deals are the ones that eliminate negotiations. I think we have had our fill of the "bomb, bomb, bomb," mentality.

    November 17, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  3. ray

    this imoronis the real terrorists

    November 17, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. ray

    i hope and pray some country wipe this israel off the map

    November 17, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    Is this the United States or the United States of Israel?

    November 17, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. mdn

    Of the three countries, Israel, the US, and Iran, it is Iran that has been involved in the fewest conflicts and wars. How is it that they are characterized as the most aggressive and war like?

    November 17, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    His comments are totally valid. The U.S. is PRETENDING to be Israel's friend.........and is NOT a true friend.

    November 17, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Organic1

    The smart choice is backing Israel and not the terrorist state of iran. Fools are the only ones that think iran tells the truth about anything, they use terrorism for their end game.

    November 17, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. The Realist

    If ever there was a reason to suspect Cheltenham High School of being a sub-standard school, having Netanyahu as one of your graduates is at the top of the list.

    He must have been indoctrinated into Zionism while in grade school, because no public school in America could possibly produce such a lying, arrogant, racist.

    "All men created equal"? Are you kidding?

    "Consent of the governed"? Not a chance.

    He's a walking advertisement for the "Jew Klux Klan".

    November 17, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. tom

    Never trust the US or Israel. They have both done nothing but lie since they were created.

    November 17, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Carmelo

    Netanyahu is nothing but a war monger he wants shed US blood and treasure again on behalf of Israel. This Vietnam veteran is fed up with his rethoric, he should focus on ending Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. This will be the true way to peace

    November 17, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. HenryMiller

    Regardless of Netanyahu's opinion, the interests of Israel are not America's first priority, nor even second, third, or any other, priority.

    November 17, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. HenryMiller

    @Carmelo: "Netanyahu is nothing but a war monger he wants shed US blood and treasure again on behalf of Israel."


    Roger that.

    November 17, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. phil_pluto

    Netanyahu is a bad deal for the entire world. Damned be the nations that support this monster

    November 17, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. HenryMiller

    @Rick McDaniel: "His comments are totally valid. The U.S. is PRETENDING to be Israel's friend.........and is NOT a true friend."


    That's okay–Israel isn't really our friend either. They just use us.

    November 17, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  16. Evergreen

    Sounds like he is saying that if the UN reaches an agreement with Iran then Israel will go to war. That will be their choice. It will be harder for them to drag the US into their war since we helped broker the agreement.

    November 17, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Bradley Barnett

    I believe PM Netanyahu is taking 'the long view' on this issue and unfortunately;I do not think the White House should be making ANY life altering foreign policy decisions. Sadly, the executive branch/ Obama has stripped himself of vast amounts of credibility with his domestic health care roll out, his handling of Benghazi, his handling of the Syrian issue etc.

    How can the American people have ANY confidence in John Kerry 'brokering' a deal? This administration has presented the American people with a health care plan that will cost all of us more money over the years. How can the Congress possibly support an administration under siege?

    I am assuming cooler heads will prevail and the Congress will NOT allow Obama to make anymore decisions that threaten our national interest!

    November 17, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Gurgyl

    Believing these Israel politics left USA into big trouble, GOP thugs politico.

    November 17, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Feral Urchiin

    It's of course old news, and practically a cliche to mention it–but I can't get over the hypocrisy of the US and Israel over Israel's possession of nuclear weapons while each nation attempts to moralize about others' possession or development of them. It seems to me that any negotiation involving eliminating Iran's nuclear capability should also include eliminating Israel's.

    November 17, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    Asia is moving fast on economy, Middle East is still in arms war
    We have to balance both will Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu get this ?

    November 17, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. Peace

    Peace is only possible if you talk to your enemies. Yea we could go to war again but whole in the hxll is going to pay for it. Remember we have charged the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    November 17, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. vic , nashville ,tn

    Asia, Africa, South America, Europe wants us to lead on economy and technology
    We spend enough money and time in Middle East still no peace in that region we are tired

    US navy first to warn about Cyclone Phailin and Typhoon Haiyan (Both are monster storms). Early information from US Navy saved many life in India
    World need such a help and leadership

    November 17, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Thomas

    Stop building in the occupied territories Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu .

    It puts us Americans that support Israel and want peace in the middle East in a difficult position.

    "We all want the same thing."

    November 17, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. rs

    1. Israel should not make, nor pre-approve U.S. foreign policy. It is obvious that Israel has a lot of skin in the game, but we cannot keep trying to work only with one nation in a very complex region of the world. Iran appears willing to negotiate, and negotiating is cheap- especially compared to the alternative.
    2. Netanyahu is not a good player in this mess. He wants to shut down everything he can to keep hurting Iran- all the while building ever more settlements on land Israel has negotiated to leave vacant. Aligning ourselves with him just means our credibility in the Middle East (no high after Iraq), only suffers that much more.
    3. If Israel REALLY wants peace, it must sit down and talk with it's enemies. We cannot be their "cop on the beat" forever.

    November 17, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. rs

    How can the American people have ANY confidence in John Kerry 'brokering' a deal? This administration has presented the American people with a health care plan that will cost all of us more money over the years. How can the Congress possibly support an administration under siege?

    Probably because that is ever so much better than what the GOP offers: War and insane profits for Halliburton- all paid for by the U.S. Taxpayer, and stripped from social programs and infrastructure programs for the U.S.

    November 17, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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