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Netanyahu Warns of 'Accelerating Concessions' with Iran

  • VOA News

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, May 26, 2015.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, May 26, 2015.

World powers attempting to broker a nuclear deal are "accelerating concessions" with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

Facing a self-imposed deadline at the end of June, the six countries negotiating with Tehran have two weeks to finalize details on how Iran's civil nuclear program will be allowed to move forward.

The Israeli leader has staunchly opposed the talks in Geneva, spearheaded by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

"To our regret, the reports that are coming in from the world powers attest to an acceleration of concessions by them in the face of Iranian stubbornness," Netanyahu said. "From the outset, the agreement being put together looked bad. It looks worse and worse with each passing day. It's not too late to come to their senses, postpone this bad deal and insist on a better deal."

Iran's stance

Netanyahu's statement comes a day after Iran's president says a final nuclear agreement is "within reach" this month, provided that no new issues arise in the days ahead.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said the long-running talks are making progress as the June 30 deadline for a complete agreement approaches, but some issues still remain.

"Our negotiators are seriously moving on this path [of negotiations], the Iranian president said, "and if the other side also observes this framework and respects the rights of the Iranian nation and our national interests, and does not seek excessive demands, I think a deal is within reach."

Referring to a key issue that the United States and its European allies have emphasized - inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities - Rouhani said Iran will not allow inspections that would jeopardize its state secrets.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, speaking at a Tehran news conference on the second anniversary of his election, vowed that his nation wouldn't allow state secrets to be jeopardized under the cover of international inspections. June 13, 2015.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, speaking at a Tehran news conference on the second anniversary of his election, vowed that his nation wouldn't allow state secrets to be jeopardized under the cover of international inspections. June 13, 2015.

"Iran will absolutely not allow its state secrets to fall into the hands of foreigners," President Rouhani said, under terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [and its so-called "Additional Protocol"] or any other treaty. "This is definite," he added, "and we will never let it happen."

The world powers who have been seeking an agreement about Iran's nuclear development program are the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. In exchange for limiting its future nuclear development, Iran would expect the lifting of international sanctions that have curtailed its economy.

American and French diplomats have called for Iran to accept stringent measures, including inspection of its military facilities as well as nuclear inspections that could be set in motion with as little as two hours' notice.

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