Energy minister: Iran has respected ‘bad’ nuclear deal

Despite no ‘significant breach’ of the agreement thus far, it would be wrong to call it a success, Steinitz says

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz attends a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset on July 27, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz attends a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset on July 27, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on Sunday criticized a landmark nuclear accord between the Jewish state’s arch-foe Iran and world powers, but said Tehran has so far respected the deal.

The agreement, which was signed in July 2015 and came into force in January, saw Tehran accept curbs to its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions by world powers.

“It’s a bad deal but it’s an accomplished fact, and during the first year we spotted no significant breach from the Iranians,” said Steinitz, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“But it’s still too early to conclude that this 12-year deal is a success,” he told Israel Radio.

Steinitz’s comments came after US President Barack Obama on Thursday defended the accord, and claimed Israeli security officials now back it.

In response, the Defense Ministry, led by the Yisrael Beytenu party’s Avigdor Liberman, on Friday compared the deal with Iran to the 1938 Munich Agreement, which allowed Nazi Germany to annex parts of then Czechoslovakia.

Netanyahu the same day repeated his country’s rejection of the Iran deal, but stressed that Israel and the United States remained great allies.

For several months the US and Israeli governments have been negotiating the terms of a new 10-year defense aid pact to replace the current one, which expires in 2018 and is worth more than $3 billion per year.

The Netanyahu government wants the United States to increase the annual amount of military assistance it provides. The renewed row over the Iran deal comes as the 10-year aid package is being finalized.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.