Israeli leader skeptical about Iran nuke deal

AP News
Posted: Jan 20, 2014 2:33 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister expressed deep skepticism about the international community's preliminary nuclear deal with Iran on Monday, urging the world to step up pressure as it begins negotiations on a final agreement.

Iran on Monday froze key aspects of its suspect nuclear program, while the U.S. and the European Union eased economic sanctions to put into effect the first-stage deal. The steps started a six-month window to negotiate a final accord that world powers say will ensure Iran cannot build a nuclear weapon.

Speaking to the Israeli parliament Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreement "does not prevent Iran from implementing its intentions of obtaining a nuclear weapon." He said the final agreement "must remove the Iranian nuclear train from the tracks."

Netanyahu was speaking before an address by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who stood by Israel's side on the nuclear issue.

"We truly hope that it is possible to walk the Iranian government back from taking the irreversible step of manufacturing nuclear weapons," Harper said.

"But, for now, Canada's own sanctions will remain fully in place. And should our hopes not be realized, should the present agreement prove ephemeral, Canada will be a strong voice for renewed sanctions," Harper said.