Netanyahu 'concerned' over Iran's nuclear talks with world powers
The progress of nuclear talks between Iran and the six major world powers has provoked the ire of Israel, with the Zionist regime intensifying efforts to derail the negotiations.
"Iran, in fact, is getting everything and giving virtually nothing," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
The Israeli premier, who was addressing the cabinet ahead of a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, added that he would raise the issue with her.
Rehashing his unsubstantiated allegations against Iran, Netanyahu said, "I view with concern the fact that Iran believes that it will realize its plan to become a threshold nuclear state with an enrichment capacity that it thinks cannot be touched, with the ability to develop both nuclear weapons and inter-continental missiles, which it is continuing to work on unhindered."
He added that the permanent agreement between Iran and the six world powers “must dismantle the Iranian ability to either produce or launch nuclear weapons."
Iran has repeatedly dismissed any accusation that its nuclear energy program is geared toward non-civilian purposes, stating that it seeks a win-win outcome from the nuclear talks.
Netanyahu’s remarks came after Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain - plus Germany wrapped up their latest round of nuclear talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on February 20. The two sides are seeking to reach a permanent agreement about Iran’s nuclear energy program.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described the Vienna talks as “fruitful and extensive,” saying the negotiations were “a good start for the difficult task ahead.”
Catherine Ashton, who represents the six powers, also said of the talks, “We had three very productive days during which we identified all the issues we need to address (to reach a final agreement). There is a lot to do. It won’t be easy but we’ve made a good start.”
The talks in Vienna followed earlier negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva, which resulted in a landmark interim deal between Iran and the six powers in November 2013. The deal took effect on January 20.
Almost immediate after the signing of the deal, Netanyahu slammed it as a “historic mistake.”
Tel Aviv’s allegations against Iran come as Israel, which follows a policy of ‘nuclear opacity,’ is widely believed to be the sole-possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, with as many as 400 nuclear warheads. Israel refuses to either allow inspections of its nuclear facilities or join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).