[Video below.] Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister, Yuval Steinitz on Sunday told Israel Radio that the Jewish state is engaged in what he termed a “huge” lobbying effort ahead of a Nov. 24th deadline for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, suspected by Israel and western powers as being a covert weaponization project.
The head of Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) Nuclear Committee said Sunday that the United States has sent Tehran an eight-page document, summing up the American position towards the Nov. 24th target date for formulating a nuclear deal, Israel’s Walla News site said.
“Excessive demands by the United States are leading to a deadlock in the talks,” committee chief Ibrahim Carhana told an Iranian news agency, adding that, “After a year of negotiations, we returned to the starting point – and even below zero.”
However, as part of the media effort, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that “Iran is not your ally. Iran is not your friend. Iran is your enemy. It’s not your partner.
“Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel, just as the P5+1, the United States and the world powers are negotiating with Iran a nuclear agreement, the Ayatollah Khamenei, the ruler of Iran, calls for the annihilation of Israel. He just did that four days ago. He specified nine ways and reasons by which Israel should be destroyed. He’s participated in rallies and chants of ‘Death to America,’ ‘Death to Israel,'” Netanyahu stressed.
“This is not a friend, neither in the battle against ISIS nor in the effort, the great effort that should be made to deprive him [of] the capacity to make nuclear weapons. Don’t fall for Iran’s ruse. They are not your friend,” the PM cautioned.
“Look at what ISIS is doing now with assault rifles and pick-up trucks. Just imagine what Iran would do if it had nuclear weapons. So both our enemies are fighting one another and when they are, weaken both – don’t strengthen either one.”
According to Carhana, the document was transferred to Iran in the last round of talks held last week in Muscat, Oman. He did not reveal the full proposal, but said that the United States offered Iran a 30-year plan of action, including a decade-long track to gradually remove sanctions.
Iran would not be allowed to run more than 4,500 new-generation centrifuges, as part of the American proposal, and will be required to allow international inspectors unrestricted access to all its nuclear facilities, and all military installations in the country.
The Arak heavy water reactor will remain closed until its reactor is rebuilt as a “light water” system, that is, one that cannot be used by the military nuclear industry.
This week, one more round of talks are set to be held in Vienna, in an attempt to bridge the gaps between the parties, which include the P5+1 nations.
Last week, US President Barack Obama warned that the parties may not be able to reach an agreement by the deadline, with the Russian Foreign Ministry releasing a similar warning.
In a New York Times op-ed published in October, Steinitz wrote that Iran “has softened its inflammatory anti-Western rhetoric and shown some flexibility on less important issues, but we must not be duped by these gestures.”
“President [Barack] Obama must stand by his declaration that no deal with Iran is better than a bad deal,” wrote Steinitz.
Watch Netanyahu on Face The Nation HERE.