Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday he “strongly” opposed the latest agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, the result of months of closed-door negotiations between world leaders and Tehran. But the Israeli prime minister’s disapproval is unlikely to derail the emerging deal given its broad international support, according to the Associated Press.
Netanyahu called a special session of his Cabinet on Friday to discuss the deal. He said the agreement would not guarantee Tehran wouldn’t build a nuclear weapon and that any deal with the Islamic Republic should include Iran recognizing Israel’s right to exist. "The deal would not shut down a single nuclear facility in Iran, would not destroy a single centrifuge in Iran and will not stop [research and development) on Iran's advanced centrifuges,” Netanyahu said in a statement, according to CNN. “On the contrary, the deal would legitimize Iran's illegal nuclear program. It would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure."
World leaders were optimistic about the agreement revealed Thursday during a news conference in Lausanne, Switzerland. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the deal went “well beyond what many of us thought possible” and was “a good basis for what I believe could be a very good deal.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said world leaders were “closer than ever” to limiting Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons.
Under the proposed agreement, which is expected to receive final approval by June 30, Iran would have to significantly scale back its ability to enrich uranium and plutonium, the raw ingredients in building nuclear weapons. It would require Iran to phase down its enrichment facilities for at least a decade and allow foreign oversight of its program. In exchange, the U.S. has agreed to lift economic sanctions against Tehran, which have hamstringed the country’s economy.
"If, in fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu is looking for the most effective way to ensure that Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon, this is the best option," President Barack Obama said following the deal’s announcement.