Netanyahu to Obama: Iran Deal Would Threaten Survival of Israel

News ID: 699876 Service: Nuclear
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TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the framework nuclear agreement with Iran Thursday in a telephone conversation with US President Obama, putting him on a collision course with the US and his closest allies.

Netanyahu said he voiced his "strong opposition" to the outline  - which is being welcomed around much of the globe - and said a final deal based on this framework would "threaten the survival of Israel."

He added that the deal would legitimize Iran's nuclear program and increase what he called Iranian "aggression and terror."

Netanyahu has been a vocal critic of the world's negotiations with Iran, and Israeli officials gave Thursday's framework agreement, announced in Lausanne, Switzerland, a cool reception.

But Netanyahu could find a tough time trying to rally opposition to it as it is finalized in the coming months. His best bet for foiling the deal could lie with the US Congress, where Israel enjoys bipartisan support. Lawmakers have been threatening to try to delay the agreement or even push for new sanctions against Iran.

"Any deal must significantly roll back Iran's nuclear capabilities and stop its terrorism and aggression," Netanyahu said on Twitter just ahead of the announcement in Lausanne.

Netanyahu's comments echoed those of other Israeli officials, who reportedly see the agreed-upon framework as a capitulation by the US and the West, according to Fox News.

Iran and six world powers reached a framework agreement on Tehran’s peaceful nuclear program after intensive negotiations in Switzerland, with both sides committed to push for a final, comprehensive accord until the end of June.

The framework agreement was read out on Thursday night in a joint press conference in Lausanne by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.

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