Netanyahu: World Powers Accelerating Concessions to Iran as Nuclear Deadline Approaches

Jerusalem is anxiously following the progress in nuclear talks between Iran and the world powers, and are preparing for final deal, even if talks are extended by a few days.

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud party meeting in Jerusalem, June 8, 2015. Credit: Lior Mizrachi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he had received information that world powers were "accelerating concessions" to Iran as the deadline for a comprehensive nuclear deal by June 30 approaches.

"Iran has backed away from the agreements apparently reached in Lausanne," Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. "Unfortunately, the reports that have reached us from the world powers show that they are accelerating their concessions to Iran. Every day, this deal looks worse. It isn't too late to pull together and reject this bad deal, and to demand a better deal."

Netanyahu made his remarks on the backdrop of the difficult negotiations ongoing between Iran and the world powers in Vienna, as described by Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview with the Boston Globe, his first interview since being released from the hospital where he had been treated for a broken leg.

"You know, some things have gotten hard. Some things are progressing,” Kerry said when asked whether negotiations had stalled. “It’s hard. It’s a hard negotiation. We haven’t talked to each other in 35 years. There’s huge suspicion. And huge stakes.”

“I’ve never said optimistic. I’ve always said hopeful. I’m hopeful. Could we get an agreement? For sure,” he added. “Could it fail? Yes.”

The bulk of the disagreements between the two sides revolve around Iran's rigid stance regarding the circumference and character of the International Atomic Energy Agency's inspection of its nuclear facilities. The powers are demanding that UN inspectors be given unrestricted access to the suspected nuclear facilities, anytime and anywhere. The Iranians are refusing to accept this demand and claim that they will allow the inspectors only "controlled access" to the various facilities in the country.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani told reporters on Saturday that he would not allow the nuclear deal to endanger Iran's state secrets. "Iran will absolutely not allow its national secrets to fall into the hands of foreigners through the Additional Protocol or any other means," Rohani said, referring to a mechanism that would allow for more intrusive inspections of Iranian sites. 

Jerusalem is anxiously following the progress in the talks between Iran and the world powers, and are preparing for the final deal, even if the negotiations are extended by a few days. National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen flew to Washington on Sunday, where he will meet with his American counterparts Susan Rice and with other American officials to discuss the deal being formed, and to reiterate Israel's resistance to it.