The New York Times editorial board wrote on Tuesday that Israel’s demands for a final agreement in the Iran nuclear deal are “unrealistic.” The newspaper, which pro-Israel advocates and media watchdog groups have long accused of bias against the Jewish state, also praised the recently reached framework nuclear deal as “potentially groundbreaking.”
On Monday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz laid out several specific requirements that Israel sees as necessary in any final agreement. Among the requirements, Steinitz called for an end to all research and development activity on advanced centrifuges; a more significant reduction in the number of centrifuges; the complete closing of the Fordo underground nuclear facility; the revelation of Iran’s past nuclear activities; an Iranian commitment to ship enriched uranium abroad; and “anywhere, anytime” inspections.
The deadline for a final nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is June 30. The New York Times editorial said that Israel’s “new demands are unrealistic and, if pursued, would not mean a better deal but no deal at all.” The newspaper argued that Netanyahu has not offered any “workable options.”
“In any negotiation, there could never be a deal without compromise. … Ultimately, Mr. Obama had to make many judgment calls in getting a deal that would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” stated the editorial.
While calling Iran’s threats against Israel and the Islamic Republic’s involvement in terrorism “heinous and unacceptable,” the New York Times said Netanyahu’s demand that Iran recognize Israel should be dealt with separately-not as part of a nuclear deal, as the Israeli prime minister suggested. Israel’s demands “must not become an excuse to scuttle what seems to be a very serious and potentially groundbreaking deal,” the editorial concluded.