Bibi in media blitz as Iran talks falter

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 10, 2014

The final round of talks before the deadline for reaching a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear programme has entered a second week without any sign of a breakthrough.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused Israel and the US on Monday of using intimidatory tactics in the talks between the world powers and the Islamic Republic in Vienna.

"They make it seem like Israel wants to attack, but America is stopping it: the good cop, bad cop trick," he said.

While backing his negotiating team, Mr Khamenei warned his officials that they should assume the talks were failing and plan Iran's economy as if sanctions were to remain in place.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government campaigned to prevent a deal which could leave significant elements of Iran's nuclear programme untouched.

Israel is concerned that Iran will be allowed to retain thousands of centrifuges which it has used to enrich uranium, and that the issue of long-range missiles will not be addressed.

Even though Iran is expected to agree to curb enrichment and the amount of enriched uranium that it will hold, Israeli experts fear that by keeping thousands of centrifuges, it will still be capable of achieving nuclear "breakout" - the quantity of highly-enriched uranium necessary to make a bomb - at very short notice.

An Israeli delegation flew to Washington two weeks ago for emergency discussions before the resumption of talks with Iran last Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on a media blitz, giving interviews to news organisations from all the countries facing Iran in the talks.

Last updated: 4:18pm, July 10 2014