Iran and six major powers agreed early Sunday on a historic deal that freezes key parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for temporary relief on some economic sanctions.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hailed the deal, which was reached after four days of hard bargaining, including an eleventh-hour intervention by Secretary of State John F. Kerry and foreign ministers from Europe, Russia and China.
In an address from the White House after the deal was announced, President Obama praised the negotiators’ work. “Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon,” he said. “While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”
The Israeli government called the deal reached with Iran over its nuclear program a "historic mistake," saying it only slows a nuclear program that will still be capable of producing a bomb.
Speaking to his Cabinet on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreement endangered Israel, adding the nation is not bound by the international community's nuclear deal and reserves the right to defend itself.
"What was reached last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake," Netanyahu said. "Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world."
"We're worried about the agreement but our job is to keep up the warnings," said Yair Lapid, Israel's Minister of Finance and part of Netanyahu's coalition government. "We're not comfortable but this warning needs to be done. We have six months until there is (hopefully) a better agreement.Voicing what he called Israel's right to self-defense, he said, "I want to clarify that Israel will not let Iran develop nuclear military capability."
"We may be the only child in the room saying the king has no clothes but that's what we must do."
It's peace in our time, all over again.
How did that work out for the West the last time?