Benjamin Netanyahu Cheers Failure of Iran Nuclear Talks

Israel Premier Warns Against Appeasing Tehran

getty images

By Reuters

Published November 10, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday it was good that world powers had failed to clinch a nuclear deal with Iran and that he had lobbied against easing sanctions by telling leaders “What’s the rush?”

But he said he recognised there was still “a strong desire” to reach an accord with Iran and pledged an all-out Israeli effort to prevent “a bad agreement” - a position that could cause more friction with Israel’s main ally, the United States.

The Israeli leader said he had spoken by telephone over the weekend with U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“I asked all the leaders, ‘What’s the rush?’,” Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday. “I requested they wait,” he added. “It is good that that was ultimately the decision.”

Marathon talks in Geneva ended on Saturday without an interim deal on curbing Tehran’s contested atomic programme, with France hinting the proposal under discussion fell short of neutralising the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

The sides are to meet again on Nov. 20.

A member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, Naftali Bennett, plans to travel to the United States in the coming week. Bennett said he would meet dozens of members of Congress, where support for Israel is traditionally strong, to voice its deep concerns.

Netanyahu, again putting himself into direct conflict with Washington, had said on Friday that a “very bad deal” was shaping up.

He also repeated veiled threats that Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, could take unilateral military action against Iran, which says its atomic programme has only peaceful purposes.

In his public remarks at Sunday’s cabinet session, Netanyahu did not say who initiated the telephone calls. U.S. officials said on Friday that it was Obama who telephoned Netanyahu, in an apparent bid to calm his anger over a prospective interim agreement that has also drawn opposition from U.S. Middle East allies, including Saudi Arabia, and in Congress.

Obama and Netanyahu have a history of strained relations, and the Israeli leader spoke in bitter tones on Friday after a tense meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was visiting Israel and flew to Geneva to join the talks.

Netanyahu said Iran would be getting “the deal of the century” if it were granted limited, temporary sanctions relief in exchange for a partial suspension of its nuclear programme and a pledge not to expand it.

“A good agreement means an accord that reduces or totally dismantles Iran’s ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons or to prepare and produce material for a nuclear weapon,” he said on Sunday.

“A bad agreement leaves this capability in place, and takes the air out of the sanctions. I hope they will reach a good agreement, and we will do everything in our power to convince the powers and the leaders to avoid a bad agreement.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.