Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu launched an intensive campaign today to convince world powers to toughen terms of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran ahead of negotiations reconvening this week in Geneva.
After meeting Francois Hollande today as part of a three-day state visit by the French president, Netanyahu was scheduled to travel to Moscow to see Russian President Vladimir Putin and return to Israel to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday.
Israel has most to gain from peaceful diplomatic solution because “we’re on the firing line,” Netanyahu said in an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” But the deal sought by the United States lets out a lot of pressure, and Iran offers little in terms of concessions, he added.
Netanyahu called the plan “an exceedingly bad deal.”
The current sanctions took years to achieve and are just now working, putting Iran’s economy “close to paralysis,” Netanyahu said.
President Barack Obama addressed critics in Congress who are worried about a six-month easing of sanctions, saying that if the P5+1 group sees they aren’t working “we can dial those sanctions right back up.”
Netanyahu said that’s easier said than done.
If the group ends up with a bad deal, they might end up at the point where a military option is only option, he warned.
He said he often tells world leaders than his Arab neighbors are just as worried about Iran as he is.
“When Israelis and Arabs are saying the same thing: That doesn’t happen very often,” he said. “I’m the prime minister of Israel, and I have to care for the survival of my country.”
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