Benjamin Netanyahu meets Donald Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and US President-elect Donald Trump have been strong critics of the nuclear accord reached between the West and Iran Kobi Gideon/Government Press Office GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday (4 December) that he was ready to hold discussion over the "bad" nuclear pact between the West and Iran, with US President-elect Donald Trump.

The Israeli leader said that he would remedy the shortcomings of the deal once Trump assumes office on 20 January. Netanyahu reiterated his long-standing opposition to the deal during an address at a US-Israel focused conference in Washington via satellite from Jerusalem. He also claimed that the deal would completely destabilise the Middle East.

"Israel is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That has not changed and will not change. As far as President-elect Trump, I look forward to speaking to him about what to do about this bad deal," Reuters quoted Netanyahu as saying.

The deal – called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – was a historic foreign policy achievement for President Barack Obama and was signed between the US and Iran in 2015. Many sanctions on Iran were lifted in exchange for Tehran curtailing its nuclear programme.

However, it was the pact was slammed by Trump, who during his campaign called it a "disaster" and "the worst deal ever negotiated".

At the forum, Netanyahu had a heated discussion with US Secretary of State John Kerry and said: "I opposed the deal because it doesn't prevent Iran from getting nukes. It paves the way for Iran to get nuclear weapons."

He added: "The problem isn't so much that Iran will break the deal, but that Iran will keep it because it just can walk in within a decade, and even less ... to industrial-scale enrichment of uranium to make the core of an arsenal of nuclear weapons."

Defending the deal, Kerry argued that the US has strong monitoring provision in place to detect any possible violation of the agreement by Iran. He also rejected the suggestion once made by Israel that it might consider a parallel deal with Arab nations that are also opposed to the Iran nuclear deal.

"No, no, no and no. There will be no advance and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace," Kerry said.

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