x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Netanyahu to lobby against Iran nuclear deal

Israeli prime minister launches intensive campaign to convince world powers to toughen terms of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran.

JERUSALEM // The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched an intensive campaign to convince world powers to toughen terms of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran ahead of further talks in Geneva this week.

After meeting Francois Hollande yesterday at the start of the French president’s three-day state visit, Mr Netanyahu was scheduled to travel to Moscow to see the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and return to Israel to meet the US secretary of state John Kerry on Friday.

Mr Netanyahu has condemned a proposal, to be discussed in a third round of talks between six world powers and Tehran starting on Wednesday, to ease economic sanctions on Iran if it suspends parts of its nuclear programme.

“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,” he said yesterday.

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

France’s president promised to take a hard line toward Iran in the talks this week.

“France will not make concessions on nuclear proliferation,” Mr Hollande said at a welcome ceremony at Israel’s international airport. “France will maintain all its measures and sanctions until we are certain that Iran has renounced nuclear weapons.”

* Reuters