Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed the international deal over Iran's nuclear program, branding it a “historic mistake.” He accused the P5+1 of allowing Tehran a step further “towards obtaining the world's most dangerous weapon.”
Netanyahu condemned the deal at a cabinet meeting on Sunday and said the world has become a more dangerous place.
"What was achieved last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it was a historic mistake,"Netanyahu told his cabinet. “Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards obtaining the world's most dangerous weapon.”
"Israel is not committed by this agreement,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet. “The regime in Iran is committed to destroying Israel. [But] Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself from any threat, [and] will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability.”
Netanyahu said that the international community had actually “agreed for the first time to uranium enrichment in Iran, while ignoring Security Council resolutions that they themselves promoted.”
He also reiterated that military action against Iran was possible, but Civil Defense Minister Gilad Erdan warned that the Geneva deal “makes it much more difficult in the diplomatic sphere to talk about a military option.”
Israel has never publicly acknowledged that it has nuclear weapons, but is widely believed to be the only power possessing the atomic bomb in the Middle East. It has consistently called on the international community to strip Iran of its nuclear enrichment capabilities.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Sunday’s Cabinet meeting that the Geneva accord was Tehran’s “greatest diplomatic triumph” since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
US President Barack Obama plans to talk to Netanyahu on Sunday to address Israel’s concerns about the Iran nuclear deal, according to a senior US official.
Earlier on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the deal between Iran and major world powers would make it more difficult for Iran to make a dash to build a nuclear weapon, and would make Israel and other American allies safer.
Under the deal struck on Sunday night by the P5+1, Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear program for the next 6 months and cease construction work on the Arak reactor. In addition, Tehran agreed to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 per cent in a bid to allay fears it seeks to construct a nuclear bomb. In return sanctions on Tehran’s economy will be lightened, allowing Iran access to $4.2 billion in funds frozen as part of the financial sanctions.
Gulf States ‘lose sleep’ after Iran nuclear deal A foreign policy adviser to the Saudi Arabian government, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said that Sunni Arab states do not welcome the Geneva nuclear deal. So far, Riyadh has made no official response.
Just hours before the Geneva deal was signed, the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait met late Saturday night to discuss “issues of interest to the three nations,” Reuters reported.
Abdullah al-Askar , the chairman of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, an advisory body to King Abdullah, said that Tehran had “an ugly agenda in the region” and expressed concern that Iran could seek to gain the upper hand in regional politics in return for mothballing its nuclear program.
“I am afraid Iran will give up something on [its nuclear program] to get something else from the major powers in terms of regional politics. And I'm worrying about giving Iran more space or a freer hand in the region," al-Askar said, adding that the people of the region “know Iranian policies and Iranian ambitions” and are afraid that Tehran might “interfere in the politics of many countries in the region.”
“No one in the region will sleep and assume things are going smoothly,” al-Askar said.
"I think Saudi Arabia will go ahead if Iran goes ahead [and gets a nuclear weapon],” he said. “I think Egypt, maybe Turkey, Saudi Arabia, maybe the Emirates, would go ahead and acquire the same technology. This will open wide the door to weaponization.”
Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, in charge of monitoring Iran's nuclear program, has said there is no reason for the world to be celebrating.
He says the deal that was reached in Geneva on Sunday is based on "Iranian deception and self-delusion."
Islamic republic's organization for atomic energy announces construction of second, third nuclear power stations. Reports suggest new facilities will not bear capability of producing putonium. Nuclear talks yet to determine status of Tehran's purportedly peaceful nuclear development
Deputy Chief of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Hossein Khalfi said Saturday that Tehran has put construction of the second and third nuclear power stations, Fars news agency reported Saturday.
According to the report, Khalifi announced the two more power stations' construction during the opening ceremony of the 25th Exhibition of Iran’s Nuclear Industry Achievements, saying the construction was in line with instructions laid by President Hassan Rohani.
The deputy chief noted that Iran was doing well in terms of its nuclear power plants construction, adding “We have launched the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant and handed it over to the country’s experts in the past two months.”
According to Khalfi, the launching of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant prevents the flow of pollutants, thereby saving the republic some $700 million as well as minimizing pollution.
"Once the control of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is delivered to the Iranian experts in the next two months, the plant will start industrial operation phase," Fars quoted Khalifi as saying.
The announcement suggests that the new nuclear power stations will not be using heavy water, meaning that they will be unable to produce plutonium.
Tehran denies it would ever "weaponize" enrichment.
Diplomats said a formidable stumbling block in the nuclear negotiations, which began on Wednesday in Geneva, may have been settled with compromise language that does not explicitly recognize Iran's claim to a "right to enrich" uranium but acknowledges all countries' right to their own civilian nuclear energy.
Diplomats said revised wording did not explicitly recognize a right to produce nuclear fuel. "If you speak about the right to a peaceful nuclear program, that's open to interpretation," a diplomat said.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: "Enrichment in Iran will not stop and ... enrichment will be a part of any agreement."
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters on Saturday that "In the past 10 years, Iran has resisted economic and political pressures and sanctions aimed at abandoning its enrichment activities.
"Therefore any agreement without recognizing Iran's right to enrich, practically and verbally, will be unacceptable for Tehran," he said on the fourth day of talks aimed at securing a deal that would freeze parts of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Araqchi said that "98% progress" had been achieved in the talks with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, adding there were only a few areas of disagreement remaining.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is coordinating the talks with Iran on behalf of the six nations, held "intensive discussions" with Zarif throughout Saturday and later briefed the other foreign ministers about their talks.
Israel says the deal being offered would give Iran more time for to master nuclear technology and amass potential bomb fuel.
China has tested its first stealth combat drone, state media said Friday, citing online photos of an aircraft resembling a shrunken US B2 bomber and hailing the advance toward Western-level technology.
The test flight of the "Sharp Sword" unmanned aircraft is another step in China's years-long military build-up, with its defence spending now the second highest in the world and growing by double-digit percentages each year.
It comes weeks after Tokyo said a drone had flown near East China Sea islands claimed by both it and Beijing, ratcheting tensions between the rivals up another notch.
"The successful flight shows the nation has again narrowed the air-power disparity between itself and Western nations," the China Daily newspaper said, adding the flight made China the "fourth power... capable of putting a stealth drone into the sky".
Images posted online showed a sleek grey delta-wing aircraft apparently powered by a jet engine and resembling an American combat drone.
Beijing is steadily building its military muscle and unveiled its first stealth fighter, the J-20, in early 2011, though it is not expected to enter service until 2018.
China's first aircraft carrier -- a refurbished vessel purchased from Ukraine and named the Liaoning -- went into service in September 2012, but is not expected to be fully operational for several years.
Chinese para-military police are seen standing guard at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on November 8, …
The Sharp Sword might be intended for eventual use with the aircraft carrier and for "long endurance" surveillance missions, said Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the US-based think tank International Assessment and Strategy Center.
"This demonstrates the enormous investment that China is making toward building a world class level of military power," he said in an email.
This type of aircraft "will greatly complicate the defence" of other countries, including Japan and the US, he added.
A drone was at the centre of a recent spat between Beijing and Tokyo, whose dispute over islands known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese has raised concerns of conflict.
An unidentified unmanned aircraft flew near the islands in September, where China routinely conducts maritime patrols, prompting Japan to scramble fighter jets. The aircraft came from the northwest and returned in that direction, a Japanese defence official said.
Tokyo later threatened to shoot down any such aircraft, a move that Beijing warned would amount to an "act of war".
Chinese state media widely reported the new aircraft in close detail, although they said the test-flight was first revealed by ordinary Internet users on a popular military web forum cjdby.net.
Chinese authorities quickly censor any news or images exposed online by citizens that they deem sensitive, so it is unlikely they did not approve the reports.
State broadcaster CCTV, citing eyewitnesses, said on its international channel that the test flight lasted 20 minutes on Thursday afternoon in the southwestern city of Chengdu.
The flight "implies that China has made the leap from drones to combat drones", it said, calling it the move of "major significance".
Hong Kong-based military expert Andrei Chang said that by producing a heavy combat drone China had achieved a milestone claimed by few countries, but added that the aircraft's design appeared "a little bit naive".
Unlike the American version, the engine appeared to be exposed, which would reduce its stealth capabilities, said Chang, editor of the Kanwa Defense Review Monthly, adding that China did not have "enough experience" in the field.
The aircraft was developed by two subsidiaries of Aviation Industry Corp of China, the country's top aircraft manufacturer, the China Daily said.