Netanyahu visits Russia to lobby against Iran deal

by DAN WILLIAMS, Reuters
November 20, 2013

JERUSALEM-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Russia on Wednesday to appeal for tougher terms in a nuclear accord with Iran after failing to convince the United States that world powers are pursuing a bad deal.

Netanyahu was due to meet President Vladimir Putin as envoys from Russia, the United States, China, France, Britain and Germany began a third and possibly conclusive round of talks with Iran in Geneva on easing economic sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

Israel, thought to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a mortal threat and wants its uranium enrichment capabilities dismantled and its enriched uranium removed. Tehran denies seeking atomic weapons.

Netanyahu says the deal now under negotiation, the exact details of which have not been disclosed, would still enable Tehran to build an atomic bomb quickly if it chose to do so.

The right-wing Israeli leader, locked in his most serious dispute yet with U.S. President Barack Obama, has made veiled threats of Israeli military action against Iran if negotiators sign what he has called an “exceedingly bad deal” in Geneva.

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