Iran’s foreign minister says the Israeli prime minister is trying to have a disruptive effect on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear negotiations with world powers.
“He’s trying to,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday, asked by the CNN if Benjamin Netanyahu was trying to have such effect on the talks.
“But I don’t think trying to create tension and conflict helps anybody,” the top Iranian diplomat noted.
Also on Tuesday, Netanyahu (pictured below) addressed the US Congress, calling on the United States not to negotiate “a very bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear energy program. He said, “We’ve been told for over a year that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well this is a bad deal, a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”
Iran and the P5+1 group – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – are negotiating to narrow their differences over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.
Netanyahu said that it is not true that “the only alternative to this deal is war.”
“The alternative to this deal is a much better deal. A better deal that doesn’t leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short breakout point,” he added.
He said that the ongoing nuclear negotiations would provide Iran “with a short breakout time for a bomb.”
“According to the deal not a single nuclear facility would be demolished,” he said.
“So this deal won’t change Iran for the better, it will only change the Middle East for the worst,” he noted.
US President Barack Obama said there was “nothing new” in the speech.
He told reporters that Netanyahu “did not offer any viable alternative.”
Speaking to reporters in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned against “spreading fears” about a final nuclear deal that is being negotiated by representatives from Iran and the six states.
“Spreading fears is not helpful at this stage,” Mogherini told reporters, adding, “We are getting closer” to a comprehensive accord aimed at ending the longstanding dispute on Tehran’s nuclear dossier.
Reflecting on the talks, Zarif also said “we’re starting to move forward, but it’s a lot of work.”