In a diplomatic breakthrough, an interim agreement has been reached between six world powers and Iran that calls on the latter to limit its nuclear activities in return for a relief in sanctions. If the interim deal holds, the parties will negotiate final-stage agreements to ensure Iran does not build nuclear weapons.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal a "historic mistake" that endangers Israel and assured ministers that Israel "is not obligated by this agreement" and "will not allow Iran to obtain military nuclear capability." Israeli officials echoed him, saying the agreement signed is "a bad deal" that allows Iran to continue enriching uranium, leaves it in control of all its centrifuges, and does not require the heavy water reactor in Arak to be dismantled.
Shortly after the deal was announced, the White House released a 'fact sheet' explaining the agreement and the rationales that directed the U.S. in its negotiating efforts.
It was later revealed that the United States and Iran have been holding undisclosed direct talks on the sidelines of the world powers' central negotiations for the last six months.
According to Chemi Shalev, it may be time for Israel to consider diplomatic options besides perpetual petulance -- now that the deal is done and Israel is internationally isolated, with only Saudi sheikhs and American senators at its side, the battle for new sanctions could harm Israel more than Iran.
Amos Harel, meanwhile, believes there is not reason to expect an Israeli military option at this stage, stating that "as long as there is such sweeping international support for the interim agreement, bombing Iran's nuclear facilities would be political suicide."
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