Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued his campaign against a deal on Iran’s nuclear program and his war of words with US Secretary John Kerry Sunday night, this time at the Jewish Federations’ General Assembly in Jerusalem.
“What is being offered now, and I’m continuously updated in detail,” he said — it was an allusion to Kerry’s assertion earlier in the day that Netanyahu may not be aware of the terms of the proposed deal — “What is being proposed now is a deal in which Iran retains all” of its uranium enrichment capacity.
“Not one centrifuge is dismantled,” he added, “not one.”
Netanyahu pointed out that such conditions didn’t meet any of the UN resolutions and would give Iran the opportunity to hide its centrifuges and use them to break out toward a nuclear weapon whenever they so chose.
“It makes a minor concession that is meaningless with today’s technology and with current capacities,” he said. “In other words, none of the Security Council resolutions which the P5+1 powers passed are met. But what is being given to them is the beginning of the rollback of sanctions.”
Earlier Sunday, in the wake of a last-minute breakdown in negotiations between the Iran and world powers on a deal to halt Iran’s nuclear program, Kerry questioned whether the prime minister really knew what he was so furiously objecting to over the weekend.
“I’m not sure that the prime minister, who I have great respect for, knows exactly what the amount or the terms are going to be because we haven’t arrived at them all yet,” Kerry said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “That’s what we’re negotiating. It is not a partial deal. Let me make that crystal clear as I have to the prime minister directly. It is a first step in an effort that will lock the program in where it is today, in fact set it back, while one negotiates the full deal.”
In his Sunday night speech, Netanyahu also reiterated his cautious hope that the current round of peace talks would bear fruit, but said he was not encouraged by signals from the Palestinians and what he considered an uneven approach by the international community.
“It cannot be that the Palestinians are forever pampered by the international community,” he said. “It’s time that the international community, certainly the serious members of the international community, understand this is a two-way street, because peace is not a one-way street and it won’t be.
“If the Palestinians expect us to recognize a Palestinian state for Palestinian people, they must recognize a Jewish state for Jewish people.
“Cold peace is better than hot war, but I’m hoping for warm peace,” he said.