by Yossi Lempkowicz, EIPA
As it is being widely reported that a deal between Iran and the P5+1 world powers (US,UK,France,Russia, China and Germany) is imminent after substantial progress was made in weekend talks in Vienna, Israeli leaders again expressed their deep concern over the deal.
According to news reports from the Austrian capital, only technical details on the text of the 100-page document remain to be finalised and an announcement could even be made Monday.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “parade of concessions to Iran… even on issues that had been marked as red lines” by the P5+1.
Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said that the deal would be “a historic mistake” with a “ruthless regime that spreads terrorism throughout the world.”
The deal is “a bad one” as it ignores that Tehran continues to develop long-range missiles and sponsor terrorism, the minister told at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.
“Even if there are some last-minute improvements, the agreement as we understand it is bad, allowing Iran to legitimately be a nuclear threshold state, with all that implies,” Yaalon said.
The minister warned that the agreement could spark an arms race in the Middle East, saying that Saudi Arabian, Egyptian and Turkish officials have talked about the need to arm their countries.
“This agreement will not lead to the closing of nuclear site or to the destruction of one centrifuge,” he stated. “It somewhat limits the pace of uranium enrichment, but it leaves a lot of holes, like what the military can use and what kind of supervision there will be from now on.”
The defence minister also pointed out that long-range missiles were not discussed. He said Iran is already capable of striking Israel and all of Europe, and that Tehran plans to develop missiles that can reach the east coast of the US.
“The current deal negotiated with Iran is detrimental to Israel’s interest and to European interests. Iran is not just nuclear Iran but a major source of funding for terrorist organisations around the world,” said Yossi Cohen, the head of Israel’s National Security Council.