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Israel’s efforts staved off “bad deal” with Iran - PM Netanyahu

December 08, 2014, 5:10 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

"We must use the time available to increase the pressure on Iran from developing a nuclear arms capability,” Israeli Prime Minister said

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WASHINGTON, December 8. /TASS/. Israel’s efforts helped prevent a bad deal between the six international negotiators on Iran’s nuclear program (P5+1) and Tehran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed.

“A November 24 deadline for an agreement has come and gone, and that’s fortunate,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) quoted Netanyahu as saying Sunday in a recorded address to the Saban Forum, convened in Washington under the auspices of the Brookings Institution.

“Our voice and our concerns played a critical role in preventing a bad deal. We must use the time available to increase the pressure on Iran from developing a nuclear arms capability,” Netanyahu said.

The P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France plus Germany) and Tehran have agreed to extend the deadline for an agreement in the talks on Iran’s nuclear program to June 30.

Iran says it needs nuclear power to generate electricity, but Western powers led by the United States claim Iran’s eventual aim is to create nuclear weapons.

A plan of joint actions designed for a year that underlay the current negotiating process was agreed by Iran and the six international negotiators in Geneva on November 24, 2013. It in particular envisioned that Iran will get rid of half of accumulated uranium enriched to 20% and will dilute the second half to the 5-percent mark.

Besides, Tehran was supposed to stop enrichment of uranium to more than 5%, and halt work on enrichment enterprises in Natanz, Fordow and at the heavy-water reactor site in Arak.

In turn, the P5+1 members pledged not to impose new restrictions on export of Iranian oil, new sanctions and lift restrictions on exports of oil products and precious metals, as well as unfreeze part of Tehran’s foreign assets.

Implementation of agreements designed for six months started January 20, and the sides decided to draft a final agreement over the period. Over the six months, Iran complied with its commitments in full and had the sanctions regime against it eased.

But the sides failed to agree the document by July 20, and decided to shift the end date to November 24 - the provisional action plan's deadline. Iran committed itself to convert all 20-percent enriched uranium left to nuclear fuel.

On its part, the six international negotiators agreed to continue their policy not to use previously agreed sanctions against Iran and grant Tehran access to $2.8 billion out of its assets arrested abroad. The funds were to be provided in several tranches.

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