‘US anxious to sign deal with Tehran to avoid military strike’

Senior Israel official reportedly says Geneva proposal is ‘very bad,’ would quickly lead to Iran becoming threshold state

A senior Israeli official said Sunday that the US was in a rush to reach an agreement with Iran over its controversial nuclear program because it feared that a military option would be the only alternative left if a deal failed to materialize.

“The Americans are anxious to sign a bad deal [with Tehran] because they are worried the only alternative left — without a deal — would be a military strike,” the official was quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth as saying Sunday.

“The deal is very bad. There’s no doubt that if they [the world powers and Iran] sign now, Iran would become a [nuclear] threshold state [a state that can quickly assemble a nuclear weapon] and there would be no deal under which that would prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear program,” the official added.

The comments came after a weekend of marathon negotiations between the P5+1 world powers and Iran in Geneva, which ended Saturday night without a much-expected deal on Tehran’s nuclear program. Talks are due to resume November 20.

The six powers were considering a gradual rollback of sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy. In exchange, they demanded initial curbs on Iran’s nuclear program, including a cap on uranium enrichment to a level that cannot be turned quickly to weapons use.

Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued his campaign against the deal and his war of words with US Secretary John Kerry, this time at the Jewish Federations’ General Assembly in Jerusalem. Netanyahu called the proposal in Geneva a “historic mistake” on Friday and urged Kerry not to sign it.

“What is being offered now, and I’m continuously updated in detail,” he said — it was an allusion to Kerry’s assertion earlier in the day that Netanyahu may not be aware of the terms of the proposed deal — “What is being proposed now is a deal in which Iran retains all” of its uranium enrichment capacity.

“Not one centrifuge is dismantled,” he added, “not one.”

Full article: ‘US anxious to sign deal with Tehran to avoid military strike’ (Times of Israel)

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