Netanyahu warns nuke deal will give Iran path to bombs

PM says lifting sanctions will pour millions into Iranian coffers, faciliating Tehran support for terror

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday reiterated his opposition to the international deal on Iran’s nuclear program, saying the agreement would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

“We believe that it is a fundamental mistake to enable such a terrorist regime to get to nuclear weapons, which is what the proposed agreement will give them,” Netanyahu said ahead of a meeting in Jerusalem with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

“It will give them a definite pathway to nuclear bombs -– not a bomb, but nuclear bombs.”

The prime minister has consistently slammed the proposed deal with Iran and has not ruled out the use of military force to keep it from acquiring atomic weapons. Iran denies its nuclear program has a military bent.

Netanyahu said that lifting sanctions against Iran would allow the Iranians to “replenish their coffers with many billions — actually perhaps up to hundreds of billions — of dollars to enable them to continue their terrorism and aggression.”

“This is something that is wrong,” Netanyahu said of the agreement. “It is dangerous. It is dangerous for Israel, for Italy, for Europe, for the United States, for the world.”

He referred to Iran as the “Islamic State of Iran,” and called it the world’s “greatest sponsor of terrorism.”

“The world is properly concerned and aghast at the violence and savagery of ISIS,” the prime minister said. “No one would dream of allowing the Islamic State of ISIS to have nuclear weapons. Why would anyone consider giving the Islamic State of Iran, which is a lot more powerful than ISIS and acts with much greater power than ISIS to have additional power of nuclear weapons?”

The deadline of midnight for an accord ending a 13-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions was widely expected to be extended, but only for a few more days.

Iran has been negotiating with the so-called P5+1 powers — the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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