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Netanyahu risks Israeli isolation over Iran deal

The success of the P5+1 in closing a deal with Iran might encourage the body to take part in the Israeli-Palestinian talks and fill the diplomatic space left by the Middle East Quartet.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem November 24, 2013. Netanyahu on Sunday denounced the world powers' nuclear agreement with Iran as a historic mistake that left the production of atomic weapons within Tehran's reach. REUTERS/Abir Sultan/Pool (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX15QWE

There was no need to bite one's nails in anticipation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the agreement reached before dawn on Sunday, Nov. 24 between the world powers and Iran. One could have simply compared the new agreement with the demands Netanyahu presented at the government meeting Sept. 17 to predict that the prime minister would harshly attack it. At that time, Netanyahu demanded that US President Barack Obama include four conditions in the understandings with Iran: stopping all uranium enrichment, removal of all enriched uranium from Iran, shutting down the Qom facility and stopping the plutonium enrichment track.

“Only a combination of these four steps will constitute an actual stopping of the nuclear project,” declared Netanyahu, adding, “Until all these steps are achieved the pressure on Iran should be increased and not relaxed — certainly not eased.” He repeated this demand even when it was clear that there would be an interim agreement to test the seriousness of the Tehran regime’s intentions.

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