Iranian hard-liners, Israel oppose framework deal


Associated Press

CAIRO

Hard-liners in Iran and the Israeli government both condemned the framework deal on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program Friday, from opposite directions but for the same reason: The agreement, they said, gives away too much.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the understandings fail to outright shut down any of Iran’s nuclear facilities, while legitimizing its uranium enrichment program and leaving it with an infrastructure that eventually could be capable of producing a bomb.

He warned the deal “threatens the very survival” of Israel, and put forward a new demand, that any final deal include Iran’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

Iran’s powerful hard-liners, meanwhile, pointed to the heavy restrictions that would effectively lock those facilities and enrichment into a slow, low gear for at least a decade. They accused the government of moderate President Hassan Rouhani of surrendering a nuclear program that Iran has boasted for years demonstrates its technological prowess, self-sufficiency and defiance of the West.

“We gave up a race-ready horse and we got in return a broken bridle,” Hossein Shariatmadari, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and editor of the hard-line Kayhan newspaper, told the semi-official Fars news agency.

The reactions underscore the pressures that will weigh on Western and Iranian negotiators as they now work to turn the broad understandings into a detailed accord by June 30 — and raise questions about how far detractors on both sides will go to try to prevent a final agreement.

Or if they can. The framework won praise from Western governments and from many in Iran who want its provisions for the lifting of sanctions that have long crippled the economy.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who signed the agreement Thursday, received a hero’s welcome upon his return to Tehran from the latest round of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland. Crowds of cheering supporters surrounded Zarif’s vehicle Friday as he stood out of its sunroof shaking hands with them. Some chanted sarcastic condolences to both Israel and Iranian hard-liners.

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