Netanyahu: Iran Deserves No Concessions Until Its Calls to Destroy Israel and U.S End

Premier tells ministers that Iran is not even trying to hide the fact that it will exploit the money that will flow in following the lifting of sanction to arm its terrorist machines.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Secretary of State John Kerry. 2014
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Secretary of State John Kerry. 2014 Credit: Amos Ben Gershom GPO
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday continued to attack the nuclear deal signed last week between the West and Iran, saying that the Islamic Republic deserved no concessions until it changed its policy and ceased its calls for the destruction of the United States and Israel.

"Anyone who thought that the nuclear deal would lead Iran to change its policy will get an overwhelming response from [Supreme leader Ali] Khamenei's aggressive and defiant speech the Iranians are explicitly saying that they will continue in their struggle against the U.S. and its allies, first and foremost Israel," Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

The prime minister was referring to the ayatollah's declaration last week that Iran's policy toward the "arrogant" U.S. government will not change and that Iran still sees the U.S. as its enemy. During a speech marking Eid al-Fitr, Khamenei said that the "death to America, death to Israel" chants will continue, as they reflect the views of the Iranian people.

Netanyahu also told ministers that the Iranians were not even trying to hide the fact that they are planning to exploit the billions of dollars that would flow in following the lifting of sanctions to arm their terrorist machine.

"Today Iran is arming terrorist organizations with missiles, and tomorrow it will be able to arm them and itself with much more dangerous weapons," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu reiterated to ministers his stance that sanctions against Iran must remain in place. "The alternative that I have presented time and time to this failure of an agreement is to continue imposing sanctions on Iran and conditioning the lifting of pressure on a change in Iranian policy. "As long as Iran encourages cries of death to America and death to Israel, there is no reason to give them any concessions," he said.

Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a long and difficult phone conversation on Thursday evening, their first conversation in more than three weeks. Kerry reported his conversation in an interview with PBS on Friday, calling Netanyahu’s claim that a better nuclear deal with Iran could have been obtained as “fantasy.”

State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday evening that during the conversation, Netanyahu "expressed his concerns, many of the same concerns that he has expressed publicly. Secretary Kerry walked the prime minister through the reasons why we believe this is the right deal, it’s a good deal – not just for our national security interests, but the national security interests of the Israeli people and the Government of Israel, as well as our allies and partners in the region.”

Kerry told PBS that Netanyahu and other detractors of the agreement had not presented an alternative. “They all say, ‘Oh, why didn’t you crush them with the sanctions?’ I will tell you why. Because they won’t be crushed by sanctions. That’s been proven. And because we will lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions. They are not going to do that if Iran is willing to make a reasonable agreement. So, there is a lot of fantasy out there about this – quote – 'better deal.'"

Kerry said that if the United States would have acted according to Netanyahu’s demands and imposed more sanctions on Iran, the coalition between the world powers would have fallen apart. He added that Russia, China and other world powers wouldn’t have agreed to impose more sanctions while Iran was accepting what looked like a reasonable agreement.

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