lsrael and Iran
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Iran must commit to recognizing Israel's right to exist in final deal - Netanyahu
Jerusalem (AFP) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that Iranian recognition of Israel's right to exist be written into an emerging nuclear deal, as he convened top officials for talks on Friday.
"Some say that the only alternative to this bad deal is war," he added. "That's not true. There is a third alternative – standing firm, increasing the pressure on Iran until a good deal is achieved." And he stipulated that one of the provisions of a "good deal", must be an end to Iranian threats against the Jewish state.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen here on April 1, 2015, has warned world powers that "Israel demands that any final agreement with Iran will include a clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel's right to exist,' he said.
"Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons, period." Israel is the Middle East's sole, albeit unacknowledged, nuclear power.
Under the deal, Iran's stocks of highly enriched uranium will be cut by 98 percent for 15 years, while its unfinished Arak reactor will not produce weapons-grade plutonium.
The powers hope that this, along with a reduction in its uranium centrifuge numbers, will make it virtually impossible for Iran to produce nuclear weapons.
Israeli media were divided over the accord, with an opinion piece in the daily Haaretz calling it "not a bad deal at all".
"Iran perhaps scored some victories in terms of the narrative... but the world powers made significant achievements of their own on the real practical issues," the left-leaning paper said.
The Jerusalem Post, in an article by British journalist Melanie Phillips, however, said the continuation of talks towards a lasting deal was a "terrifying situation".
"The US has been prepared to allow a regime that is openly pursuing America's destruction and the annihilation of Israel to achieve nuclear weapons breakout capacity," she wrote.
I differ from many (like Congress) who insist on supporting Israel in any case, including bad behavior. I think the proliferation of Israeli settlements in what is nominally the West Bank must be stopped and reversed.
Certainly the change of national boundaries by force goes against American principles and that’s what the settlements represent. We let Russia get away with it in the Crimea, but don’t expect this from an ally.
And now Netanyahu wants an acknowledgement from Iran that Israel deserves to exist. They have don’t believe Iran about nuclear development, but would believe their sincerity about this. For the U.S. this would provide Israel’s buy-in to the agreement.
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