Iran nuclear framework worse than imagined: Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on March 29, 2015. Netanyahu denounced as "dangerous" a nuclear accord that world powers are negotiating with Iran, saying it goes beyond what his government had feared. (AFP/File)
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the initial terms of a western-backed nuclear agreement with Iran signaled a deal that "might be worse" than his country feared.
"While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran's proxies in Yemen are seizing large swaths of land with an aim to overtake Bab al-Mandab strait so that they can change the balance of power in shipping oil," Netanyahu said in a statement on Sunday, in reference to the takeover of parts of Yemen by the Iran-backed Houthi militant group.
The Israeli premier added that he voiced his concern over the deal, in which Washington is largely involved, during a Sunday meeting at his West Jerusalem office with US Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.
He noted that over the weekend, he spoke on the phone with outgoing Senate minority leader Harry Reid.
"The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is a danger to humanity and it must be stopped," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu's statements come as US-Iran negotiations remain underway in Switzerland's Lausanne city between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Iran's nuclear program.
They also come on the fourth day of a Saudi-led military offensive which thus far has included airstrikes on various Houthi-held sites across Yemen.
On Thursday, a fresh round of talks between Zarif and his counterparts from the P5+1 group (the US, China, France, the UK, Russia and Germany) kicked off in Lausanne with the aim of reaching a preliminary agreement by the end of March ahead of a landmark nuclear deal expected to be signed by June, which Israel had strongly criticized.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu addressed both houses of the US Congress, where he urged lawmakers to oppose the proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
The White House, meanwhile, was not officially informed of the invitation, irking Obama administration officials who described the Israeli premier's address as a "breach of protocol."