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Netanyahu on Iran: I'm Trying to Kill a Bad Deal

The Israeli Prime Minister said the framework of an Iran nuclear deal was a "dream deal for Iran and a nightmare deal for the world."
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/ Source: NBC News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday continued to call for the rejection of the framework of a multi-country deal that with Iran that seeks to limit the country's nuclear capability.

"I'm not trying to kill any deal. I'm trying to kill a bad deal," Netanyahu said on "Meet the Press." He argued that the current plan "leaves the preeminent terrorist state of our time with a vast nuclear infrastructure."

The prime minister went on to say that "not one centrifuge is destroyed." However, according to the paramaters for the deal released by the U.S. State Department, Iran has agreed to reduce installed centrifuges by two-thirds and place the excess in internationally monitored storage.

Netanyahu also said he believes lifting some of the sanctions on Iran and leaving them with some nuclear capability could result in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

"It would spark an arms race among the Sunni states, a nuclear arms race in the Middle East," the Israeli leader warned. "And the Middle East crisscrossed with nuclear tripwires is a nightmare for the world. I think this deal is a dream deal for Iran and it's a nightmare deal for the world."

And the prime minister did not challenge the premise of a question about Israel's unconfirmed nuclear arsenal:

Chuck Todd: "There have been plenty of reports about Israel's nuclear deterrent strategy. Do you believe that in an ideal situation, no Middle eastern country would have nuclear weapons?"

Prime Minister Netanyahu: "In an ideal situation, you wouldn't have countries seeking to annihilate the state of Israel and openly saying that. ... So I think the real problem in the Middle East is not the democracy of Israel that has shown restraint and responsibility, but it's countries like Iran that pursue nuclear weapons with the explicit goal first of annihilating us, but also ultimately of conquering the Middle East and threatening you."

But Netanyahu stressed that when it comes to Iran's nuclear capabilities, he prefers a "good" diplomatic solution to a military one.

He outlined such a solution as "one that rolls back Iran's nuclear infrastructure and one that ties the final lifting of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program with a change of Iran's behavior" and insists that Iran stops "calling for and working for the annihilation of Israel." He also called for further sanctions on Iran as a way to get the country to take a deal that contains no concessions.

— Shawna Thomas