As Deadline on Nuclear Deal Nears, Israel and Iran Issue Warnings

JERUSALEM — With time operating out earlier than the May 12 deadline by which President Trump is to resolve whether or not to drag out of the Iran nuclear deal, the leaders of Israel and Iran weighed in on Sunday, with one calling the settlement “fatally flawed” and the opposite warning of “historic regret” if the United States rips up the deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel repeated his name for the settlement to be “fully fixed or fully nixed,” arguing that whereas it could have delayed the acquisition of Iran’s first bomb, it paves the best way for the nation to construct a complete nuclear arsenal quickly after the deal expires.

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani, whose negotiating group reached the nuclear accord with six world powers in 2015, mentioned the Trump administration would come to rue any choice to resign the settlement.

“If America leaves the nuclear deal, this will entail historic regret for it,” Mr. Rouhani mentioned in a speech broadcast reside on state tv. He warned in veiled phrases that Iran may take into account restarting its now largely mothballed nuclear power program, which is beneath inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Mr. Rouhani added that there could be no negotiations on limiting Iran’s missile energy or regional affect.

“Our nation honors its commitments, but it plainly tells the whole world, Europe, America, West and East: We will not negotiate our weapons and defense of our country with anybody,” Mr. Rouhani mentioned. “What decision the Iranian nation has made for self-defense is nobody’s business.”

On high of Mr. Trump’s threats to exit the settlement, Mr. Rouhani faces a number of home issues. The nation’s forex, the rial, has lost around 35 percent of its value since his re-election in May final yr, and his recognition has slipped among the many center courses for having failed to achieve some of the economic and social changes he promised. His opponents within the navy and clerical ranks have elevated their political assaults in opposition to him.

Speaking to worldwide reporters on Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu pushed again in opposition to critics who mentioned a trove of pilfered Iranian paperwork he revealed final week had confirmed nothing new.

“Anyone who says there is nothing new in the material we showed has not seen the material,” Mr. Netanyahu mentioned, days after exposing Israel’s acquisition of a huge archive of stolen Iranian nuclear plans, principally regarding a covert bomb-making undertaking that was halted in 2003.

Mr. Netanyahu mentioned that the deal was “fatally flawed on weaponization,” referring to the navy utility of Iran’s enriched uranium, and that the paperwork proved it was based mostly on a lie. He added that the cache of greater than 100,000 pages was now being shared with the intelligence companies of the international locations that negotiated the settlement with Iran: the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain.

To these arguing that the paperwork didn’t show any Iranian violation of the accord because it got here into impact in 2016, Mr. Netanyahu mentioned that was lacking the purpose.

“If you don’t violate a dangerous deal, it doesn’t make it less dangerous,” he mentioned, including that the accord was based mostly on “a fictitious Iranian report” to the International Atomic Energy Agency, during which Iran denied having ever deliberate to construct a weapon.

Mr. Netanyahu additionally dismissed consultants who mentioned the paperwork simply proved why a deal was essential. “A deal that enables Iran to keep and hide all its nuclear weapons know-how is a horrible deal,” he mentioned.

The accord gave Iran “unlimited enrichment in both ways,” he mentioned, as a result of it eliminated financial sanctions on Tehran and on the similar time “gives them the ability to enrich uranium on an industrialized scale” when the restrictions within the deal finish.

“The last thing you can say about it is that it blocks all of Iran’s paths to the bomb. In fact, it does the very opposite,” Mr. Netanyahu mentioned. “If you do nothing to this deal, if you keep it as is, you will end up with Iran with a nuclear arsenal in a very short time.”

Mr. Netanyahu has staked his political profession on blocking Iran and its nuclear ambitions, which pose a possible existential menace to Israel, however there isn’t a signal to this point that his marketing campaign has shifted European leaders who’ve lobbied Mr. Trump to not scuttle the deal.

Many consultants, together with former Israeli safety officers, have mentioned that whereas the deal could also be flawed, it’s higher than having no deal. The Israeli authorities argues for the re-imposition of financial sanctions on Tehran, which it says would serve to curb not solely Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but additionally its energy within the Middle East.

An Israeli intelligence official who briefed the overseas reporters, on the situation of anonymity in keeping with his company’s guidelines, mentioned that solely a fraction of the stolen Iranian archive had been offered publicly. He added that 99 % of it was new to Israel within the amount and high quality of data it offered about Iran’s navy nuclear undertaking.

Mr. Netanyahu mentioned he could be assembly President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Wednesday in Moscow, amid escalating tensions over Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily in Syria. He warned that Israel would do all it may to thwart Iran’s efforts there, even when that meant coming into right into a battle.

“In recent months, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards organization has transferred to Syria advanced weaponry in order to attack us both on the battlefield and on the home front,” Mr. Netanyahu mentioned in remarks broadcast on Sunday. He mentioned the weapons included drones, missiles and “antiaircraft batteries that would threaten air force jets.”

The remarks got here as Israel braced for Iranian retaliation for an assault final month on an Iranian drone facility at an air base in Syria.

Isabel Kershner reported from Jerusalem, and Thomas Erdbrink from Tehran. David M. Halbfinger contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

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