Netanyahu slams Iran nuclear deal ahead of fresh round of Vienna talks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at the opening of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, 40th Annual Leadership Mission, on February 17, 2014 in Jerusalem. (AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran has so far been the “only” beneficiary in the nuclear negotiations with six major world powers.
“So far, the only one who benefited from these talks is Iran,” said the Israeli prime minister on Monday, stressing, “In fact, they (Iranians) didn’t give anything but they got a lot.”
Netanyahu’s comments come as Iran and the P5+1 –Russia, China, France, Britain, the U.S. and Germany– are set to start a fresh round of talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Tuesday in an effort to reach a comprehensive deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and the six other countries reached a landmark interim nuclear accord in Geneva, Switzerland, last November, which highly irked Tel Aviv.
Israeli media further quoted Netanyahu as saying on the same day that more pressure should be exerted on Iran in an attempt to end what he called its nuclear weapons program.
Israel as the sole-possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, with 200-400 nuclear warheads in its arsenals, refuses to either allow inspections of its nuclear facilities or join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Iran is a signatory to the NPT, and its nuclear activities are under 24/7 surveillance by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Furthermore, numerous inspections by the IAEA have never found any evidence supporting the allegation that its nuclear activities have non-civilian purposes.
The U.S., Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. The Islamic Republic has categorically rejected the claims, stressing that it is determined to pursue its right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.