One day after the
“There are not just two possibilities on the Iranian issue, a bad deal or war," Netanyahu told Israel's
"I would even say that a bad deal is liable to lead to the second, undesired result," he said.
With international negotiations apparently close to an interim deal to curb Iran's nuclear program, U.S. officials have been warning that more economic penalties imposed on Iran could drive it from the bargaining table or unravel the international coalition that has cut trade with Tehran to force it to restrict its nuclear program.
Many countries suspect Iran is seeking the ability to make nuclear weapons, though Iranian officials denies it.
Netanyahu, like many members of Congress, fears the White House may accept too lenient a deal, and he is urging stronger sanctions in hopes of making Tehran more willing to yield. He has strongly criticized the U.S.-led negotiating position, calling the proposed deal a "grievous, historic error."
His tough tactics have set off a debate in Israel and among American pro-Israel organizations about whether it is wise for the prime minister to split sharply with the White House. Some observers say he should not risk being seen as trying to push the United States to war.
Netanyahu argued that the six world powers negotiating with Iran need not rush to accept a bad deal, but should take their time building up pressure that could further weaken the Iranian economy.
"There is no reason to submit to Iranian diktat, nor is there any reason to be hasty," he said. "Iran is under very harsh economic pressure and the advantage is with those applying the pressure."
On Tuesday, White House spokesman
Kerry and other top U.S. officials will face a tough audience in their meetings later Wednesday with the
A number of key lawmakers, including
It would probably take months for new sanctions to begin to take effect. But administration officials are warning that if Congress moves to add penalties while negotiations continue, Iran could see that as a sign of bad faith and pull back.
Meanwhile, Obama spoke Wednesday to French Prime Minister Francois Hollande by telephone about the nuclear negotiations, U.S. and French officials said. France has taken a consistently tough position on the Iran nuclear issue. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius went public Friday to demand that the six world powers negotiating with Iran --the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia -- toughen the terms of their proposed deal.
In Vienna, the head of the
Yukiya Amano, director general of the
He also said that Iran still had "quite a lot to do" to complete a heavy water reactor, that has raised international concerns.