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Israeli Leaders Weigh In on Looming Iran Deal

Israeli Leaders Weigh In on Looming Iran Deal

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli leaders continued efforts to discredit the framework agreement between the P5+1 world powers and Iran, and insisted there are strong and viable alternatives to the deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — perhaps the loudest vocal opponent to the deal — repeated his two formidable alternatives Sunday.

He suggested a better deal must “significantly roll back” Iran’s nuclear capabilities. One way of doing so, he argued, would be to “shut down the illicit underground facilities that Iran concealed for years from the international community,” he said in a statement.

Additionally, he called for easing restrictions to Iran’s nuclear program only if Iran puts an end to its “aggression” in the Middle East, “its worldwide terrorism and its threats to annihilate Israel.”

Iran’s insistence on immediate removal of sanctions, stalling the inspection process and increased presence in Yemen and elsewhere are the most pressing concerns for Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s response comes a day after US President Barack Obama staunchly defended the deal and his hope for achieving a comprehensive agreement by the June 30 deadline.

Speaking at a press conference in Panama, Obama noted that the framework agreement is not set in stone and the final terms established at the end of June are likely to change.

“The details make a big difference, how they’re structured. And, I guarantee you there will be some tough negotiations surrounding that,” Obama said.

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