October 15, 2013
The world risks making a 'historic mistake’ if it eases the pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, warned on the eve of crucial negotiations to resolve the crisis.
The world risks making a “historic mistake” if it eases the pressure onIran over its nuclear programme, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, warned last night on the eve of crucial negotiations to resolve the crisis.
Talks resume in Geneva for the first time in six months today with expectations high for a compromise deal that could see Britain, America and other Western countries abandon crushing sanctions in return for Tehran accepting strict controls on its atomic facilities. Iran’s chief negotiator even suggested yesterday that a “road map” for a peaceful solution to the impasse could be agreed by tomorrow.
But Mr Netanyahu warned that it was only the crippling economic pressure of sanctions that had forced Iran back to the negotiating table in the first place and that it would be foolish to relax them now. “It would be a historic mistake to ease the pressure on Iran a moment before the sanctions achieve their objective,” he said. “Particularly at this moment we must not give up on them, we must keep up the pressure.”
Any move to let up would strengthen Iran’s “uncompromising elements” around the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who would be “perceived as the winner”, Mr Netanyahu said.
Mohammad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and chief negotiator, is expected to present the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, the so-called P5+1, with new terms at today’s talks.