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Haaretz: Netanyahu forced to accept interim deal with Iran

February 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

An Israeli writer, Barack Rafid, has cited Israeli and American officials as saying that the gaps between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama are unbridgeable.

In an article published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz today, Rafid said that in their last telephone conversation, which lasted for one and half an hour, both leaders failed to make their stances any closer.

Rafid also said that an Israeli official had recently advised Mr Netanyahu to moderate his “tough tone” with the American Administration. The politician warned that the current friction with the US administration on the Iranian nuclear issue would only harm Israel and leave Iran to be the sole beneficiary.

The writer claimed that the White House believes that Netanyahu’s approach to a deal with Iran is “everything or nothing.” Netanyahu wants more pressure to be put on Iran so that it dismantles all of its centrifuges.

The US on the other hand believes this is not effective. According to the writer it would lead Iran to quickly explode the negotiations and turn to the production of nuclear weapons. War would be the inevitable consequence.

However, Rafid notes that Netanyahu sees things in a different light. The writer said Netanyahu feels everything he warned of recently about Iran’s nuclear is now being fulfilled.

Netanyahu believes, according to Rafid, that he reads Iranian policy and negotiating tactics better than those sitting in Geneva. He believes that the action of the super powers would lead to a war.

Rafid added that Netanyahu was surprised by the American action in the last three days. Netanyahu apparently expected a severe American condemnation of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khaminae’s description of Israel as a “mad dog”. However the US only said that such remarks “cause annoyance.”

All of that has led Netanyahu to believe that the US and other powers are determined to reach a deal with Iran at any price. Iran, according to the writer, has itself discerned this enthusiasm and has now become even “more stubborn” in its stances during the current negotiations.

Additionally, Netanyahu believes the imminent deal would be an unprecedented opportunity for Iran to accelerate its nuclear programme. In the event, Iran would agree to reduce depleting uranium to 20 per cent in order to develop other elements of its programme.

Rafid concluded his article by saying that Netanyahu has started to accept the possibility of a temporary deal with Iran, but will now exert much effort to prevent it from becoming permanent.