Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday slammed a preliminary agreement over Iran’s nuclear program as one that puts the country in mortal danger.
“A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel,” Netanyahu warned in a statement after speaking to President Barack Obama by telephone.
“Such a deal would not block Iran’s path to the bomb. It would pave it,” he said.
Obama on Thursday announced a framework agreement with Iran in which Iran would agree to limits on its programs to enrich uranium and make weapons-grade plutonium — two methods of building a weapon — and agree to inspections in return for a lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
President Barack Obama said any deal under the agreement “would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon” and that inspections would be thorough. “If Iran cheats, the world will know it,” Obama said.
Obama emphasized in the phone conversation with Netanyahu that “progress on the nuclear issue in no way diminishes our concerns with respect to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and threats towards Israel,” and that “the United States remains steadfast in our commitment to the security of Israel,” the White House said in a statement.
Netanyahu said the U.S. and other countries should ratchet up the pressure on Iran until a better deal is reached.