Israel: Iran deal a 'historic mistake'

See also: Iran nuke deal: Wait for details

See also: Obama taking a tough stand on Iran deal - with Congress

The reaction of the Israeli government to the nuclear deal reached with Iran was swift and harsh.

USA Today:

The Israeli government called the deal reached with Iran over its nuclear program a "historic mistake," saying it only slows a nuclear program that will still be capable of producing a bomb.

Speaking to his Cabinet on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the agreement endangered Israel, adding the nation is not bound by the international community's nuclear deal and reserves the right to defend itself.

"What was reached last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake," Netanyahu said. "Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world."

"We're worried about the agreement but our job is to keep up the warnings," said Yair Lapid, Israel's Minister of Finance and part of Netanyahu's coalition government. "We're not comfortable but this warning needs to be done. We have six months until there is (hopefully) a better agreement.Voicing what he called Israel's right to self-defense, he said, "I want to clarify that Israel will not let Iran develop nuclear military capability."

"We may be the only child in the room saying the king has no clothes but that's what we must do."

An official in the Prime Minister's office said the agreement "gives Iran exactly what it wants: a significant easing of sanctions and allows Iran to keep the most significant parts of its nuclear program. The agreement allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and leaves it the centrifuges that enables it create (fissile) material to create nuclear weapons. Likewise, the agreement doesn't lead to dismantling the Arak reactor. The economic pressure on Iran would have led to a much better agreement that would have dismantled Iran's nuclear capability."

The deal virtually assures that Israel will not attack Iran's nuclear facitlities while the agreement is in effect. The Israeli spokesman's  reference to a "better deal" in six months signals their recognition that any attack on Iran while the agreement is in place would isolate the Jewish state from its main ally, the US.

No doubt the Israelis will watch the progress of negotiations over the next few months very closely while keeping their powder dry.