Netanyahu: Geneva Nuclear Talks May Legitimize Iran's 'Rogue Regime'

Right way to deal with Iran should be to respect it, suspect it and pressure it, the prime minister told the weekly cabinet meeting.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that "there is a danger" nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers in Geneva, which ended Wednesday, will grant legitimacy to Tehran on the world stage. 

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the talks might "give legitimacy to a rogue regime that is participating in the massacre in Syria, is directing a global terror campaign, and calls for the destruction of Israel."

The right attitude in the face of this regime should be to respect it, suspect it and pressure it, Netanyahu added.

"We must not forget that the Iranian regime has systematically deceived the international community in the past," Netanyahu said. "As long as we do not see acts, international pressure must continue," he added. As the pressure increases, the chance that Iran will abandon its nuclear program also increases, he said.  

The two intense days of nuclear talks in Geneva ended Wednesday, with senior U.S. officials describing them as the most meaningful and serious negotiations ever conducted with the Iranian leadership.

According to a high-ranking Israeli official who was briefed on the talks, Iran’s proposal at the Geneva last week, though general and open to question, indicated Tehran’s willingness to scale back its uranium enrichment program and discuss issues it had previously rejected out of hand. 

United States Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, who led the U.S. delegation to the talks, called National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror on Thursday and briefed him on the substance of the talks. In addition, members of the British delegation came straight to Israel from Geneva for talks with their Israeli colleagues.

The U.K. delegation met with Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz and other top Israel officials on Friday. Prior to that, senior French and German officials spoke by phone with their Israeli counterparts about the talks.

Steinitz is due to head a delegation of senior Foreign Ministry and defense figures on a visit to Washington this week. Iran is expected to be the main item on the agenda of the meetings that the delegation is scheduled to hold with a team headed by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. Sherman will also attend the meeting.