Top Israeli ministers harshly criticized the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers early today, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman saying the agreement had shifted the status quo in the Middle East.
“This brings us to a new reality in the whole Middle East, including the Saudis. This isn’t just our worry,” he told Israel Radio. “We’ve found ourselves in a completely new situation.”
When asked if this would lead to an Israeli military strike on Iran, Liberman said Israel “would need to make different decisions.”
Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is responsible for monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, said there was no reason for the world to be celebrating. He said the deal, reached in Geneva early Sunday, is based on “Iranian deception and [Western] self-delusion.”
“Just like the failed deal with North Korea, the current deal can actually bring Iran closer to the bomb,” Steinitz said. “Israel cannot take part in the international celebrations based on Iranian deception and self-delusion.”
An unnamed source in the Prime Minister’s Office called the agreement a “bad deal that gives Iran exactly what it wants.”
Liberman slammed the deal as not going far enough, since it does not dismantle the nuclear facilities. “They have enough uranium to make a few bombs already,” he said.
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett called the deal “bad, very bad.”
“If a nuclear suitcase blows up five years from now in New York or Madrid, it will be because of the deal that was signed this morning,” he said on Facebook. “There is still a long campaign ahead of us. We will continue to act in every possible way.”
Finance Minister Yair Lapid panned the interim agreement and said Israel would have to work to make sure a final deal had better terms.
“This is a bad deal that does not bring even one centrifuge to a halt. I am worried not only over the deal, but that we have lost the world’s attention.”
“Those that support this agreement only say one good thing about it, and that’s that we win time en route to a final agreement,” Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin told Channel 2 TV. “Our main activity is now directed at a very clear destination – what will be in the final agreement.”
Read more at Times of Israel.