Israeli statements on Geneva talks with Iran
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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 Israeli statements on Geneva talks with Iran

11/28/2013

"What was achieved in Geneva is not an historic agreement; it is an historic mistake. As we learn more and more details about the agreement that was achieved last night in Geneva, it becomes increasingly clear how bad and dangerous this agreement is to the world, the region and Israel."
President Peres to Mexican Parliament (28 Nov 2013):

Iran has signed an interim agreement with the P5+1. Success or failure of the deal will be judged by results, not by words. As far as Israel is concerned, we do not consider the Iranian people our enemies. We do not share a border. We do share a common history. It demonstrates that we can be friendly. There is an opportunity to solve this issue diplomatically. It is in your hands. Reject terrorism. Stop the nuclear program. Stop the development of long-range missiles. Israel, like the rest of the international community, prefers a diplomatic solution. But the international community will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.

No one threatens Iran. When Iran will cease to threaten others, it will liberate itself from the burden which it has brought upon itself. I truly hope that this deal will free the Iranian people from being a source of menace and will turn it into a contributing nation for peace. Only time will tell. Israel extends its hand in peace to all its neighbors. But we have learned from bitter experience to beware of tyrants. Tyranny has no message for the future. It offers dark nights instead of enlightened days. The real promise of progress lies in the employment of science and technology by a society which seeks justice and peace.


PM Netanyahu in the Knesset (25 Nov 2013):

"I would be happy if I could join those voices around the world that are praising the Geneva agreement. It is true that the international pressure which we applied was partly successful and has led to a better result than what was originally planned but this is still a bad deal. It reduces the pressure on Iran without receiving anything tangible in return and the Iranians who laughed all the way to the bank are themselves saying that this deal has saved them.

I spoke last night with US President Barack Obama. We agreed that an Israeli team led by National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen will leave soon for the US to discuss the permanent agreement with Iran.

That agreement must lead to one result: The dismantling of Iran's military nuclear capability. I remind you that only last week, during the talks, the leaders of Iran repeated their commitment to destroy the State of Israel, and I reiterate here today my commitment, as Prime Minister of Israel, to prevent them from achieving the ability to do so."


PM Netanyahu (24 Nov 2013):


"What was achieved last night in Geneva is not an historic agreement; it is an historic mistake.

Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world.

For the first time, the world's leading powers have agreed to uranium enrichment in Iran while ignoring the UN Security Council decisions that they themselves led. Sanctions that required many years to put in place contain the best chance for a peaceful solution. These sanctions have been given up in exchange for cosmetic Iranian concessions that can be cancelled in weeks.

This agreement and what it means endanger many countries including, of course, Israel. Israel is not bound by this agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel and Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. As Prime Minister of Israel, I would like to make it clear: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability."

"As we learn more and more details about the agreement that was achieved last night in Geneva, it becomes increasingly clear how bad and dangerous this agreement is to the world, the region and Israel. Iran is receiving billions of dollars in eased sanctions without having to pay any real price. Iran is receiving written approval to violate UN Security Council resolutions. To a large degree, this agreement rescues Iran from the pressure it has been under and also gives it international legitimacy to continue its nuclear program. This is a bad agreement."


PM Netanyahu at press conference  with French President Hollande (17 Nov 2013):

"The deal that is being put on the table in Geneva is not a good deal. I believe it’s a bad deal and a dangerous one. I applaud the fact that you, personally, have taken a stance to make it tougher and firmer, but I‘m concerned, gravely concerned that this deal will go through and in one stroke of the pen it will reduce the sanctions on Iran, sanctions that took years to put in place. And in return for this Iran gives practically nothing.

Like you, I want to see a peaceful solution, a diplomatic solution, and like Secretary Kerry, I strongly believe that no deal is better than a bad deal. And I believe that this deal is not merely a bad deal. Look how eager, just look how eager the Iranians are, how eager they are to return to Geneva and sign the deal. Now they said that they will not demand that the agreement include a specific reference to their so-called right to enrich, their already backing off of that, predictably. They know, everyone knows, that the agreement enables them to continue enrichment, so they say, we already have the right to enrich in practice.

It’s clear that this agreement is good only for Iran and that it’s really bad for the rest of the world. Iran’s dream deal is the world’s nightmare. So today. I believe the choice is not between a bad deal and war. On the contrary. Every day that passes, Iran is placed under greater economic pressure. With patience, with determination, it’s possible to get a good deal. That means keeping the pressure and ratcheting up the pressure. Getting a deal that dismantles Iran’s military nuclear capacity, that gets them to dismantle their centrifuges and dismantle their plutonium heavy water reactor."


PM Netanyahu to Masa-Israel event (13 Nov 2013):

"I’m not impressed with the reports that we hear that Iran has not expanded its nuclear facilities. And the reason for that is they don’t need to. They’ve got enough facilities, enough centrifuges, to develop and to complete the fissile material which is at the core of an atomic bomb. They have that, and the test today is not whether they add to the capacity they already have. The question is will the international community rollback what they have. You’re going to achieve that with pressure – sustained pressure of sanctions.

But people say: 'If we don’t strike this bad deal with Iran, Iran will walk away from the deal.' Well, I have news for you. They’re not going to walk away from this deal. It’s a dream deal for them. But I guarantee you one thing. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons."


PM Netanyahu to the Knesset plenum (13 Nov 2013):

"There are not just two possibilities on the Iranian issue: A bad deal – or war. This is incorrect. There is a third possibility – and that is continuing the pressure of sanctions. I would even say that a bad deal is liable to lead to the second, undesired, result. There is no reason to submit to Iranian diktat; neither is there any reason to be hasty. Iran is under very harsh economic pressure and the advantage is with those applying the pressure. It is possible to achieve a good deal to dismantle Iran's military nuclear capability. This cannot be achieved by the proposal now being discussed in Geneva. That proposal would make a gaping hole in the sanctions through which the air could escape from the pressure of the sanctions. Iran is being asked to do very little. All of its centrifuges would be left intact; not even one centrifuge would be dismantled and the underground facilities would also remain. This is not necessary because it is possible to continue the pressure."


PM Netanyahu at the Bloomberg Fuel Choices Summit (12 Nov 2013):

"Israel prefers the diplomatic option over any other option. But we want a genuine diplomatic solution that dismantles Iran's military nuclear capabilities. The proposal that was put on the table, the details of which we are familiar with, is a bad deal. It leaves Iran with nuclear capabilities for military objectives, and provides it with a significant easing of sanctions. The additional danger is that it gives Iran legitimacy to be a nuclear threshold state. That goes against the interest of the international community.

With every passing day, Iran is under growing economic pressure. One need not be hasty to conclude a bad deal. The time that has been achieved must be utilized for a good deal which dismantles Iran's military nuclear capabilities. The date for achieving such a deal is the date on which such a deal will be achieved."


PM Netanyahu at the Knesset (11 Nov 2013):

"Israel is united in opposition to the deal being offered to Iran. We are speaking in a clear and unequivocal voice. The time that was achieved over the weekend must be utilized to achieve a much better deal. The target date for this deal is – the date on which a good deal will be achieved that will deny Iran a military nuclear capability. This is important not just for Israel but for the entire world. We will continue to say this simple truth in a clear voice because this is what needs to be done. When it comes to things that are so essential and fateful for the future and security of Israel, and for the peace of the world, one must speak clearly and thus we are doing in order to prevent a bad deal."


PM Netanyahu addresses Jewish Federations of North America (10 Nov 2013):


"The international community has placed demands on Iran to cease and desist the building of capabilities to produce atomic bombs that will threaten us and threaten the peace of the world. They put together a sanctions regime that has brought Iran to its knees, crippling sanctions. The purpose of those sanctions was to get Iran to dismantle – dismantle – its nuclear enrichment capabilities, which are used for atomic bombs and its heavy water plutonium reactor, which is used for atomic bombs...

Now there's a deal. Why the Iranians came to deal is obvious: because the sanctions are biting their economy, crippling that regime. So they came to the table because they have to. And what is being offered now, and I'm continuously updated in detail, I know what I'm talking about. What is being proposed now is a deal in which Iran retains all of that capacity. Not one centrifuge is dismantled. Not one. Iran gets to keep tons of low enriched uranium, and they can take these centrifuges, which are not dismantled, in the halls, underground – using advanced centrifuges that they've already installed, some of them, that are not dismantled – and they can rush within a few weeks, maybe a couple of months, that's all, and create at the time of their choosing, the fissile material for a bomb.

Iran does not give up anything of that. It makes a minor concession that is meaningless in today's technology and in their current capacities. In other words, none of the demands of the Security Council resolutions, which the P5+1 powers passed are met. None of them! But what is given to them is the beginning of the rollback of sanctions. This means that the sanctions that took years to put in place are beginning to roll back with several billions of dollars of assets that are freed up; the automotive industry contracts that is central to Iran's economy freed up; petrochemical industry freed up; matters that involved gold and even petroleum revenues freed up some...

This is the deal that is proposed now. Iran does not roll back its nuclear weapons-making capacities at all, but the P5+1 are rolling back sanctions. That's a bad deal. It's a dangerous deal because it keeps Iran as a nuclear threshold nation and it may very well bring about a situation where the sanctions are dissolved or collapsed. It's a bad and dangerous deal that deals with the thing that affects our survival...

We shall continue to work with the rest of the world, and it's good that we have now a few days because this is not only in the interest of Israel; this is in the interest of the entire world. Yes, we speak up, but I think there are other nations in this region and perhaps beyond who can now unite and say: we do not want a nuclear Iran and we stand together to make sure that Iran dismantles its enrichment capacities, its heavy water plutonium reactor, all the things that they need to make nuclear weapons. They're not entitled to it and it is possible right now, given the precariousness and vulnerability of the Iranian economy, to press forward the demand for Iran to dismantle its nuclear bomb-making capacity...."


President Peres at state memorial to David Ben-Gurion in Sde Boker (10 Nov 2013):

"Yesterday the P5+1 did not come to an agreement, and rightly so. A deal which does not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power must not be signed. The wording at hand does not answer this requirement. Preventing a nuclear Iran was the P5+1's very purpose and I hope that it remains so. This is also the unyielding position of the State of Israel. We are not opposed to diplomacy to achieve this goal. But there is no point in a deal which would not prevent Iran from becoming nuclear. I believe that our government's position, expressed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is right."


PM Netanayhu at Cabinet meeting (10 Nov 2013):


"Over the weekend I spoke with US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

I told them that according to the information reaching Israel, the apparent deal is bad and dangerous. It is dangerous not just for us, it is also dangerous for them. It is dangerous for world peace because it lowers the pressure of sanctions that took years to build while on the other hand, Iran, in practice, retains its nuclear enrichment capability as well as the ability to advance along the plutonium track. I emphasize that the proffered deal does not include the dismantling of even one centrifuge.

I asked all the leaders – why the haste? I proposed that they wait, that they consider the matter seriously. This is an historic process and these are historic decisions. I asked to wait. It is good that this is what was decided in the end but I am not deluding myself – there is a strong desire to reach an agreement, I hope not an agreement at any price, and if there is to be an agreement then it needs to be a good agreement and not a bad agreement. I hope that they will reach a good agreement and we will do our utmost to convince the major powers and the leaders to avoid a bad agreement."


PM Netanyahu after meeting with US Secretary Kerry (8 Nov 2013):

"I met Secretary Kerry right before he leaves to Geneva. I reminded him that he said that no deal is better than a bad deal. And the deal that is being discussed in Geneva right now is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. Iran is not required to take apart even one centrifuge. But the international community is relieving sanctions on Iran for the first time after many years. Iran gets everything that it wanted at this stage and pays nothing. And this is when Iran is under severe pressure.

I urge Secretary Kerry not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal. But this is a bad deal, a very, very, bad deal. It’s the deal of a century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community."


PM Netanyahu prior to meeting with US Secretary Kerry (8 Nov 2013):

"I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be, because they got everything, and paid nothing, they wanted. They wanted relief from sanctions after years of a grueling sanctions regime. They got that. They are paying nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability. So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal. This is a very bad deal.

Israel utterly rejects it and what I am saying is shared by many, many in the region whether or not they express it publicly. Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to defend itself, to defend the security of its people."


PM Netanyahu at the conference on joint strategic dialogue between the Government of Israel and world Jewish communities (7 Nov 2013):

"Israel understands that there are proposals on the table in Geneva today that ease the pressure on Iran for concessions that are not concessions at all. The proposal would allow Iran to retain the capabilities to make nuclear weapons. Israel totally opposes these proposals. I believe that adopting them is a mistake of historic proportions. They must be rejected outright.

The sanctions regime has brought the Iranian economy to the edge of the abyss. And the P5+1 can compel Iran to fully dismantle its nuclear weapons program. This means ending all enrichment, stopping all work on the heavy water plutonium reactor. Anything else will make a peaceful solution less likely. Israel always reserves the right to defend itself, by itself, against any threat."


PM Netanyahu to delegation of US members of Congress (7 Nov 2013):

"If the news that I am receiving of the impending proposal by the P5+1 is true, this is the deal of the century, for Iran. Because Iran is essentially giving nothing and it's getting all the air taken out, the air begins to be taken out of the pressure cooker that it took years to build in the sanctions regime. What we're having today is a situation that Iran is giving up, at best, a few days of enrichment time, but the whole international regime's sanctions policy has the air taken out of it. That's a big mistake, it will relieve all the pressure inside Iran, it is a historic mistake, a grievous historic error."


PM Netanyahu after meeting with US Secretary Kerry (6 Nov 2013):

"I believe that as long as they continue their goal to enrich uranium, to get nuclear weapons, the pressure should be maintained and even increased because they're increasing enrichment, and I believe that it's possible with intense pressure because of the sanctions regime led in large part by the United States to get Iran to fully dismantle its nuclear weapons program, and that's really what we're seeking.

A full, peaceful, complete dismantling of Iran's nuclear weapons capability, end of all enrichment, end of all centrifuges, end of the plutonium reactor. If this is achieved, I'd welcome it. I'd be very worried with any partial deals that enable Iran to maintain those capabilities but begin to reduce sanctions because I think this could undermine the longevity and durability of the sanctions regime."

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