Israel “badly wants a deal” from Australia

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By Athena Yenko | December 11, 2013 4:35 PM EST

Israel "badly wants a deal" from Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

In six months, Australia will become an official member of the United Nations Security Council. The country will also be the chairman of the council's sanctions committee on Iran.

Israel's Minister for Economy, Naftali Bennett told Prime Minister Tony Abbott to halt Iran's nuclear progress.

''I'm suggesting Australia be vocal about influencing this for the next six months - it's your responsibility now that you're on the UN Security Council. But I'm not suggesting Australia go against anyone. I'm suggesting you help steer the wheel.''

Israel demands primarily that Iran be forced to surrender its nuclear apparatus against the P5+1 deal which allow Iran to continue its uranium facility.

''Our objective is to dismantle effectively all their centrifuges so the time they need for a nuclear break-out [to produce a nuclear weapon] is not six weeks but three years,'' Mr Bennett said.

Israel did not appreciate the deal negotiated by the five members of the UN Security Council, where it allowed Iran to continue parts of its nuclear programme while easing on the international sanctions applied to Iran.

''Our frustration is that we feel Iran is on the verge of having to give up its nuclear production because of the economic sanctions, but it's like a boxing match - the referee is counting the guy down six, seven, eight, nine, then just when he's about to give up the program, we are giving him a cup of water,'' Mr Bennett expressed.

As for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the deal was a "historic mistake".

Meanwhile, US State Secretary John Kerry told members of the House of Foreign Affairs Committe to support the administration's deal with Iran.

"I would state to you unequivocally, the answer is yes, the national security of the United States is stronger under this first-step agreement than it was before. Israel's national security is stronger than it was the day before we entered into this agreement. And the Gulf and Middle East interests are more secure than they were the day before we entered this agreement," Mr Kerry said.

The question remains: whether Australia will heed to Israel's demand and contradict the US' position on the deal.

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