Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | Israel | benjamin netanyahu | obama | iran | nuclear

Netanyahu: Obama 'Can't Force' Israel to Accept Iran Deal

By    |   Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:16 PM

Israel cannot be expected to accept a nuclear deal with Iran that would threaten its existence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast Thursday night on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."

"You can't force the people of Israel, who've just elected me by a wide margin to bring them peace and security – to secure the state of Israel – to accept terms that would endanger the very survival of the state of Israel," he said. "I don't think that's the direction of American policy. I hope it's not."

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Netanyahu said he knows that since Israel doesn't have a seat at the negotiating table he won't be able to press for a completely non-nuclear Iran, but he would like to see the number of centrifuges allowed to be far less than the 6,000 currently being reported.

"If I had my druthers, if Israel had a seat at the table, I would say zero centrifuges," Netanyahu said. "If I could impress on the negotiators, I would say what our Arab neighbors say: Get a symbolic number. And 6,000 is certainly not symbolic."

He also would like to see restrictions on Iran nuclear program, he said, including not lifting sanctions within a specified time. A 10-year timeframe currently is being reported.

The current deal allows Iran to get a nuclear weapon eventually, even if it adheres to the agreement, Netanyahu said.

Tough sanctions got Iran to the negotiating table in the first place, he said, so if the P5+1 powers now offer "toothless sanctions," Iran will disregard them.

"Now don't take the foot off the brake," he said. "Just … keep on pressing."

Netanyahu was asked about his statement, made one day before the vote, that there would be no Palestinian state if voters returned him to office. Netanyahu's Likud Party won handily, and an angry Obama administration said it might not block future U.N. attempts to vote for recognition of a Palestinian sate.

Netanyahu told host Megyn Kelly he hopes that isn't true.

"I think that President Obama has said time and time again, and as I've said that the only path to a peace agreement is … a negotiated agreement. You can't impose it," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also spoke with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Thursday.

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In that interview, Netanyahu said he has never changed his policy on a two-state solution, but said that circumstances have changed that currently make it unfeasible.

Palestinian leadership currently refuses to recognize the Jewish state, he said, adding that he worries a Palestinian state would be run by Islamic militants as many other Arab areas of the Middle East currently are.

"First of all, that state would become a terrorist state," he said. "Iran says they will arm the West Bank the way they arm Gaza."

Mitchell and Kelly also asked Netanyahu about accusations that American money was funneled into the election to defeat him.

The prime minister said that nongovernmental organizations from various outside countries participated in the effort to defeat him, but steered clear of accusing the United States government.

Former staff for President Barack Obama, including his 2008 online and grass-roots campaign strategist Jeremy Bird, were reportedly involved with the Victory 15 effort, whose slogan was "Anybody But Bibi," a reference to Netanyahu's nickname.

Netanyahu would say to Kelly only that there was "international money all over the place" from individuals and others trying to defeat him. He would not say whether he thought the Obama White House was directly involved.

"Individual donors from Europe and United States and Latin America, the answer is yes," Netanyahu said.

He denied the claims of critics that he was making a racist appeal in his call for people to get out and vote for him because "the Arabs are voting in droves."

Netanyahu told Kelly he has always viewed all people as equals.

"I've been funding billions into the Arab communities to upgrade their infrastructure and to better integrate them into the Israeli economy, technology, every walk of life," he said.

Netanyahu said that 10 days ago he met with Arab supporters of Likud and warned them of the get-out-the-vote effort to defeat him.

"I said there is going to be this foreign-funded effort to get the votes for that party," he said. "I want you to be ready for that and get out the vote whenever that happens. That's what I was referring to."

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Israel cannot be expected to accept a nuclear deal with Iran that would threaten its existence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast Thursday night on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."
benjamin netanyahu, obama, iran, nuclear
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2015-16-19
Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:16 PM
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