News / Middle East

Netanyahu to Lobby World Powers Against Iran Nuclear Deal

French President Francois Hollande (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embrace during the official reception upon Hollande's arrival at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Nov. 17, 2013.
French President Francois Hollande (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embrace during the official reception upon Hollande's arrival at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Nov. 17, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched an intensive campaign on Sunday 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 on Sunday 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.

Netanyahu has condemned a proposal, to be discussed in a third round of talks between six world powers and Tehran on Nov. 20 - 23, to ease economic sanctions on Iran if it suspends parts of its nuclear program.

“I hope that we will be able to persuade our friends during this week and in the days that follow to get a much better agreement,” Netanyahu said in public remarks at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu says tough measures must not only remain but be strengthened until Iran dismantles its entire uranium enrichment program, arguing that anything less would enable it to develop nuclear bombs.

His position has found support in the U.S. Congress, where legislation to impose tough new sanctions could come to the Senate floor in the coming week.

The prime minister said the issue would top the agenda in his talks with Hollande. Israel has praised France for taking a tough stance in the previous round.

Hollande opposes lifting any sanctions on Iran until it provides further guarantees that it is not pursuing atomic weapons. Tehran accuses France of blocking an agreement.

At a welcoming ceremony at Tel Aviv airport attended by Netanyahu, Hollande said France was taking Israel's concerns into account on the Iranian issue, adding in Hebrew: “I will always remain a friend of Israel.”

Kerry has caused a stir in Israel by accusing it of over-reacting in its opposition to the proposed deal.

“John Kerry is a old friend of mine and is also a friend of Israel,” Netanyahu said, voicing a more conciliatory tone than at the end of an acrimonious visit by the top U.S. diplomat last week.

“I want to clarify that even among the best of friends there can be disagreements, certainly on matters that concern our future and our destiny,” the Israeli leader said.

Netanyahu has said he would not be bound by the terms of the Iran deal and reiterated that Israel, widely believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, could take military action if it thought Iran was close to getting an atomic bomb.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

In Washington on Friday, a senior U.S. official said that a deal was “quite possible” at the upcoming talks in Geneva although tough issues remained unresolved.

“For the first time in nearly a decade, we are getting close to a first step... that would stop the Iranian nuclear program from advancing and roll it back in key areas,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged U.S. lawmakers not to impose new sanctions on Iran while talks continue.

Relations with close allies Israel and the United States have also been strained recently over the lack of progress in peace talks with Palestinians.

Kerry has censured Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank, and Hollande's aides said he would also convey his disapproval of settlement expansion.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid