News / Middle East

Israel Rejects Proposed Iran Nuclear Deal

FILE - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Oct. 27, 2013.
FILE - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Oct. 27, 2013.
Reuters
Israel's worst fears will be realized if a proposed deal by world powers goes ahead with Tehran, sharply curtailing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu options in his campaign against Iran's contested nuclear program.
 
The possible accord might not only tie Israel's hand in any future military action against Iran, but it could also have an unexpected knock-on effect and stymie U.S.-brokered negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
 
In a bitter outburst, Netanyahu denounced on Friday the contours of an Iranian agreement leaked to the media, once again putting himself in direct conflict with Washington.
 
“This is a very bad deal and Israel utterly rejects it,” Netanyahu said as he headed into his third round of talks in just 48 hours with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
 
“Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and to defend the security of its people,” he told reporters.
 
Tellingly, Kerry did not appear in public with the Israeli leader on Friday and instead flew off in silence to Geneva to join talks between Iran and six world powers, including Russia, China and the European Union.
 
Despite his veiled threat, Netanyahu would find it almost impossible to launch an attack on Iran should it clinch an initial deal to relax tough economic sanctions in return for a partial pullback of its large nuclear program.
 
“I can understand why Netanyahu is so furious,” said Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser.
 
“A unilateral military option would have no real chance now. Not because we can't do it, but because it would be seen as moving against the whole international community,” he told Reuters. “That is something Israel cannot afford.”
 
Many Western experts believe Iran is seeking to build an atomic bomb, something that Israel views as an existential threat. Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian needs.
 
"Worst nightmare"
 
Israel has long feared that world powers would not back its demand for a full dismantlement of Iran's enrichment facilities before any rollback of sanctions. It has argued that this approach is the only way to ensure Tehran never builds a bomb.
 
“Netanyahu's worst nightmare is about to come true,” said Ehud Yaari, an Israel-based fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “This is not just Netanyahu. This is the position of everyone in the Israeli security establishment.”
 
The Israeli leader has often had sour ties with Washington, clashing repeatedly during U.S. President Barack Obama's first term in office over Iran and the Palestinian peace process.
 
Relations appeared to improve following Obama's re-election last year. The U.S. president paid a successful visit to Israel in March and peace talks with the Palestinians resumed in July.
 
But Kerry's visit has laid bare the tensions once more and one senior Israeli official, who declined to be named, said Netanyahu might be tempted to use his influence at the U.S. Congress to try to temper the brewing Iran deal.
 
Congress, which gave the right-wing Netanyahu almost 30 standing ovations when he addressed it in 2011, has already threatened to pursue tough new sanctions against Iran, despite the on-going talks in Geneva -- music to Israel's ears.
 
Asked whether Israel would now use its leverage in Congress, the senior Israeli official said: “That could well be.” He added: “It would be an exaggeration to call this a major crisis. There's a disagreement here. It's a crisis that we'll find a way through.”
 
Iran was not the sole bone of contention this week. Kerry also stirred discontent in the government by criticizing Jewish settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories and warning of bloodshed if Israel failed to secure a deal.
 
Vowing not buckle over Iran, Netanyahu also said on Friday he would not yield over the Palestinians. “I think the pressure has to be put where it belongs, that is on the Palestinians who refuse to budge,” he told reporters.
 
Eiland, who headed Israel's National Security Council from 2003-2006, said the United States had “several times in the past” implicitly offered to resolve the Iranian problem in return for Israeli flexibility on the Palestinian conflict.
 
“I think Netanyahu wants to make it very clear that they should not expect us to be more flexible with the Palestinians because they have not solved the Iranian issue,” he said.
 
As anger mounted in Netanyahu's inner circle over the expected Iran deal, some influential voices urged caution, pointing to the fact the agreement under consideration was just a first step that would leave most sanctions still in place.
 
“[Israel] needs to influence the talks but the question is whether more influence can be brought to bear through adopting extreme positions or through heart to heart talks that create trust,” Amos Yadlin, head of Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, told Israel radio.
 
“There needs to be a scrutiny of before determining whether the 'holy of holies' was destroyed today.”

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Chidi Chikezie from: Abia State, Nigeria
November 09, 2013 5:06 AM
Threat, is not a rational dimension to resolve disagreement, over Iran's nuclear development. Let Isreal, Iran,and the U.N, dialogue to jettison, the tension. We need peace in the world not more wars.

by: Schopenhauer from: USA
November 09, 2013 3:21 AM
Poor Bebe. For once, even a vigorous wag of the Isreali Government's tail did not provoke a lockstep response by the dog. Instead, the latter stood on the high moral ground and did not budge. So the pugnacious little bully responded with an oral tantrum, presumptively seizing what he thought was the high moral ground and, instead, exposing himself and his government as hypocrites who arrogantly assume that they are the only sovereign country in the region that merits the world's trust to own a vast arsenal of WMD and that they, by some stroke of an eternal pen, have been appointed to determine whether any other should be permitted access to them. In reality, as the ultra-orthodox extreme right wing continues its quest to obtain majority status through its extraordinarily high fertility compared to non-sectarian moderates in Israel, the international community should be focusing its concern on how to eliminate Israel's WMD arsenal
Before those mad and irrational ultra-orthodox right wingers take over control of the government through majority rule. That prospect is much more frightening than Iran achieving nuclear capacity and establishing a tactical counter-balance in the region. Bebe and his ilk cannot countenance an equal playing field that would impose limits on their arrogant presumption that they and only they are to be trusted with access to such weapons.

by: jonathon from: boston
November 08, 2013 8:41 PM
Obama I a train wreck. Israel should do what they need to and Congress will be there to do the right thing. I don't see how Obama could be causing any more problem internationally breaking trust and relationships if he focused all his attention on doing it.
Seriously, the one nation we should be supporting above all others and he is ignoring them and meanwhile letting a country that would just assume see us dead off the hook.
Do what you need to Israel. You should have done it a long time ago. The only thing you ever did wrong was trust Obama. Obama isn't America though and he'll be back in Chicago soon enough.

by: Patriot1776 from: Northeast
November 08, 2013 7:56 PM
Once again we see how each country has its own interests which may or may not coincide with its allies. Do we let France or the UK dictate to us what our interests should be? Israel has been a long time ally of the US but we do not always agree or should we. Our policies need to be our own.

by: Vahid from: Seattle
November 08, 2013 7:00 PM
Dr. Barnard, is it fair to assume only a few are smart enough to master technology. I'm not in favor of nukes and WMD rather in fair of peace. Once we travel around the world we find how smart others maybe in contrast to our premature opinions fed by media. I hope there be a day that no one would have nukes of WMD. There is absolutely no reason to need one. Logic is strong and can prevail, avoid unnecessary conflicts.

by: no name from: Iran
November 08, 2013 4:12 PM
I would like to say to Dr Barnard with all my respect that she has no idea what it means to live under a theocratic fascism. IRGC can come to your home anytime of night or day arrest all your family and subject them to such brutal torture that honored life is not worth living anymore. You don't understand what it is here. America was our last hope for freedom, now we are just a broken nation

by: Eric L from: Chicago, IL USA
November 08, 2013 3:18 PM
What is wrong with this American Administration? Is Obama as gullible as he makes the Americans look? (I fear the answer is yes!) Can the world make it to 2014 with a congress to put the irrational White House in check? Sadly, the world will have to wait until 2016 for this lame duck president to leave and genuine hope restored to the world.
In Response

by: jb1111 from: USA
November 08, 2013 3:41 PM


Totally agree, Eric of Chicago!!

Just a repeat of North Korea.

Iran is laughing at us.

by: joe mama from: Jerusalem
November 08, 2013 3:06 PM
"Israel Rejects Proposed "

Does not matter what netYahoo says. He should go to war with iran WITHOUT big brother leading the way.

Why does he not do something about it????
He does not ask for permission when he assasinates innocent civilian Palestinians
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 09, 2013 5:49 AM
joe mama from: Jerusalem, I assure you Israel will not let this lie low, with or without a big brother. Read the pulse in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and you will know that the die is cast. There is after all no real big brother in USA when Obama is president, and Israel is as lonely with USA as it is in the Middle East surrounded by aggressive islamist Arabs. And your bet is Israel can do it all alone, the time is SOON.

by: dtschuk from: Tennessee
November 08, 2013 3:00 PM
Israel Rejects Proposed Iran Nuclear Deal
-----------------------------------------------------------
I had no idea we had to submit proposals to Netenyahoo for approval, though the GOP conservatives will probably have to consult with Bebe for directions on how to vote on any proposals.

by: Anonymous
November 08, 2013 3:00 PM
Let the Jewish state AND the Christian zionist do their own dirty work.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More