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Binyamin Netanyahu: Easement of Iran sanctions bad idea

Nov. 17, 2013 at 1:53 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday the sanctions regime against Iran's nuclear program is at risk of crumbling.

Negotiators from the P5 plus 1 countries -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany -- are scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday in Geneva to discuss the possibility of easing sanctions against Iran in exchange for concessions on its nuclear program.

In an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Netanyahu said he's concerned any easement of sanctions could completely undermine the pressure the international community has built up against Iran.

"If there are billions of dollars sanctions of easement, which is what is proposed by the P5 plus 1 ... you're going to get investors, companies and countries scrambling one after the other to try to get deals with Iran because economies and prices work on future expectations," he said. It "took all that pressure all these years to build up the sanctions regime and it's finally working. It's finally getting there and Iran is really on the rope, their economy is on the ropes, their economy is close to paralysis, and all of a sudden, you take off the pressure, everybody will understand that you're heading south. You're going to really be in danger of crumbling the sanctions regime."

Additionally, Netanyahu said he believes Iran would be giving up very little in exchange for the easement.

"It's getting just an enormous deal from their point of view and it's giving practically nothing in return. They're keeping their infrastructure to make nuclear bombs," he said.

"I respect [President Obama] and I know that we have a common goal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and in our case from developing the capacity to make nuclear weapons. In fact, [Iran is] not giving up any of their capacity. They have 18,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium to make the core of a bomb," he said. "They're not giving up even one centrifuge ... not one. So, they're keeping their capacity."

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