Iran rejects Obama nuclear call before Netanyahu speech

Iran rejects Obama nuclear call before Netanyahu speech

Iran has rejected as “excessive and illogical” a demand by US President Barack Obama that it freeze sensitive nuclear activity for at least 10 years.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted saying Mr Obama spoke in “unacceptable and threatening” terms.

Mr Zarif said talks on Iran’s nuclear programme, which are nearing a critical 31 March deadline, would continue.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to urge the US Congress on Tuesday to oppose a deal.

He was invited to speak at the US Capitol by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, angering Democrats.

Mr Netanyahu – who faces domestic elections in two weeks’ time – will not meet Mr Obama during his visit to the US.

In his interview with Reuters news agency, the US president said disagreements over Iran would not be “permanently destructive” to the US-Israel relationship.

But Mr Netanyahu had been wrong on Iran before when he opposed an interim nuclear agreement struck last year, Mr Obama said.

Mr Obama also said Iran should agree to freeze sensitive nuclear activity if it wants to strike a deal with the US. However, he said, the odds were against talks with Iran ending in agreement.

In a response quoted by Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency, Mr Zarif said his country would “not accept excessive and illogical demands”.

Read More:BBC News – Iran rejects Obama nuclear call before Netanyahu speech.

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