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Netanyahu in Knesset Photo: Gil Yohanan
Netanyahu in Knesset Photo: Gil Yohanan

Netanyahu: Iran deal deceptive

Prime minister says uranium swap agreement 'obvious deception' aimed at distracting global public opinion; Bibi praises US moves, but says that even harsher sanctions may not be enough to stop Tehran's nuke aims

Amnon Meranda
Published: 05.25.10, 20:00 / Israel News

A recent deal that calls for Iran to enrich uranium abroad is "an obvious deception" by Tehran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says.


PM Netanyahu discussed several political and security issues in the Knesset Tuesday, including the uranium swap deal signed between Iran, Brazil and Turkey.


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"It's an obvious Iranian deception aimed at diverting international public opinion away from sanctions against Iran in the Security Council," he said. "It's a phony proposal since Iran is keeping enough uranium for itself to produce nuclear weapons."


During a Knesset debate on Israel's government policy, Netanyahu praised the American Administration for its actions vis-à-vis Iran.


"I welcome the fact that the United States has decided to move forward with sanctions. It’s an important step in the symbolic sense, but we are not distracted by the fact that these sanctions won't stop Iran," he said. "Tougher sanctions would stress the determination to prevent nuclear weapons armament, but I am not certain these too would stop it."


'Direct talks next'

Earlier Tuesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran's letter of notification to the UN atomic watchdog on the nuclear fuel swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil had "a number of deficiencies."


"There are a number of deficiencies which do not answer the concerns of the international community," she told reporters.


Back at the Knesset, and turning his attention to proximity talks with the Palestinians, the prime minister also praised the US for making it clear to the Palestinian Authority that there could be no preconditions for talks.


"The second principle which both we and the US agree on, and I hope that the Palestinians understand it as well, is that the proximity talks are a preliminary brief step ahead of direct talks," he said.


AFP contributed to this report


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