News / Middle East

    Iran Nuclear Deal Draws Israeli Criticism, Saudi Silence

    VOA News
    Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers has drawn strong criticism from Israel and silence from its main Gulf rival, Saudi Arabia.
     
    Under the deal reached in Geneva early Sunday, Iran must limit its enrichment of uranium and freeze reactor construction.
     
    Israel and Saudi Arabia have long feared Iran will divert those activities to make atomic weapons that could threaten their interests.  Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.
     
    In return for Iran's concessions, the United States and five other world powers agreed to ease some international sanctions on Iran's economy.
     
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet the Geneva agreement is a "historic mistake" that makes the world "a much more dangerous place."  Israel wants more sanctions on Iran and a complete dismantling of its nuclear facilities.
     
    The rulers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait met Saturday as Iran and the world powers finalized the nuclear deal.
     
    None of the three Gulf states had commented on the agreement by late Sunday.  But Sunni Arab Gulf leaders have expressed concerns in the past about what they see a campaign by Shi'ite Iran to boost its regional influence.
     
    Israeli leaders see a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to their nation's existence due to Iran's frequent calls for Israel's demise. Netanyahu said Israel will "not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability."
     
    President Barack Obama offered reassurance late Saturday, saying Washington's commitment to Israel and to its Gulf partners will "remain firm."  He also said those nations have "good reason to be skeptical about Iran's intentions."
     
    In an interview with CNN, Secretary of State John Kerry said the deal with Iran will make Israel "safer" because it is designed to expand the amount of time Iran would need to make a nuclear weapon.
     
    Two Gulf states gave a cautious welcome to the Geneva agreement. The United Arab Emirates expressed hope that it will lead to a permanent deal that preserves stability in the region and protects it from nuclear proliferation. Bahrain said it hopes there will be an end to "fear" in the region.
     
    The deal also won praise from Iran's neighbor, Iraq, and main regional ally, Syria, two Arab nations not led by Sunnis.
     
    Iraq's Shi'ite-led government called the agreement a step forward for solving regional problems.  The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the deal is proof that negotiations are the best way to resolve a conflict.
     
    Assad is a member of the Alawite sect of Shia Islam.  Iran has been supporting him as he fights off a two-year long rebellion against his autocratic rule.
     
    The government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hailed the Iran nuclear deal as an "important message for Israel to realize that peace is the only option in the Middle East."  Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed nation in the region.  It neither confirms nor denies that status.
     
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Geneva pact and urged the governments involved to "do everything possible to build on this encouraging start."

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    Comments
         
    by: Laura O'Donnell from: USA
    November 25, 2013 6:46 AM
    You can just hear the obsession of the Iranians with Israel's sophistication... - the pure envy and jealousy and hate of it... Russia knows what Israel has... and its far more sophisticated than anyone pretend to understand... but listen to the Iranians: writing as "Igor" from "Russia" oozing with envy and jealousy. its almost a delight to read... listening to the Iranians here is like looking at a fetid gangrenous decay... it even smell Iranian...
    In Response

    by: V. from: India
    November 25, 2013 7:57 AM
    Laura, I totally agree with you. Their hate reduces them to imbecility. "It even smell Iranian..." LOL
    In Response

    by: Marcia from: USA
    November 25, 2013 7:35 AM
    "It even smells Iranian..." - Yes it does, Laura!!! and that stench i do not want anywhere near my children. I don't want Iranians or Hizbulla or any of the various metastatic combinations of this Islamic filth anywhere near here. GET OUT OF THIS COUNTRY!!!

    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    November 25, 2013 1:57 AM
    How come US has right to enrich and Iran has not the same right? It could be reasonable if Israel, to tell the truth, has no nukes. Both side's lack of right to enrich would bring peace in the Middle East. Does Israel really have nuclear weapons? Is not it a disguise of NATO for Israel to have nukes? I believe the US does not stands by Israel 100 percent so that US must not have allowed Israel to mount nukes. Thank you.
    In Response

    by: mdil4396 from: Australia
    November 25, 2013 5:56 AM
    All are equal bur some are more equal than others. You are absolutely correct.. Why should the US, UK France etc be allowed to enrich and possess nuclear weapons but. Not Iran? Why are thewe countries allowing Israel to possess weapons if mass destruction, including nuclear but not Syria and Iran?

    by: Igor from: Russia
    November 24, 2013 11:52 PM
    Even a child can understand why Israel is so angry. Because Iran has signed the nuclear agreement with world's powers so the world will in turn pay much more attention to Israel's nuclear weapon program because it is a sole threat to the security of the Middle East. After Iran's agreement, Israel will have to abandon its nuclear weapons under the supervison of the UN inspectors or it will face international criticism and sactions.
    We will never recognize Israel as one of nuclear weapon country!!!!
    In Response

    by: dave bowen from: arizona usa
    November 25, 2013 3:56 PM
    Frankly,I could not care less about what Israel thinks. She is Americas number one welfare client,one hand in our pocket for billions a year,while slapping us in the face at every opportunity with the other. Fairweather friend. I was on the USS Liberty. Israel never explained,never apologized

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