Fareed speaks with Naftali Bennett, the economic minister in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, about Iran's nuclear program. Watch the full interview on GPS this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.
Iran - you have said that you thought a bad deal would lead to war, but a good deal could lead to peace. So the question is, do you regard the deal that is under discussion as a good deal or a bad deal?
From what we can tell, the area where they seem to be at right now is that Iran would go from about 19,000 centrifuges to somewhere in the range of between 5,000 and 7,000 or 8,000 centrifuges. Is that a sufficient reduction which would lengthen the lead time before Iran could potentially do something which can make them produce weapons grade uranium?
That's a very bad deal. Iran doesn't need one centrifuge. Canada has nuclear energy. Spain has nuclear energy. Switzerland has nuclear energy and they don't enrich uranium. You don't need to enrich uranium in order to use nuclear energy. You enrich uranium in order to produce a bomb. That's why the U.N. Security Council came out with six consecutive resolutions that they should have not one centrifuge.
And suddenly we're caving in to their whims, especially when Iran is on the floor. They're under a significant economic pressure. It's working. So when something works, you don't let it up. Quite the contrary. That's the point in negotiation where you insist, and, in fact, reinforce the sanctions. And we just want one simple thing – no enrichment within Iran. You can have all the nuclear energy you want for any peaceful uses, but no enrichment so you can't acquire a nuclear weapon.
It's so simple...
You know that this is essentially seems as though it's a non-negotiable issue for Iran. So from your point of view, essentially, any deal that comes out is going to be one you will oppose?
No. Any deal that allows Iran to enrich uranium, which allows them to ultimately break out within a few months with a nuclear weapon, is a disaster for the world.
Can you imagine what will happen to the global economy if Iran comes out with a nuclear weapon? The whole area will enter a nuclear race – Saudi Arabia, Turkey. We're going to have a nuclear nightmare in the very most dangerous area in the world. You know what it will do to your pension funds and to everyone's money? It's crazy. It will risk the West.
Why are we letting this? Why with open eyes walking into this trap?
We should be very clear, Iran no enrichment. We're not going to let you acquire a nuclear weapon. It's black and white. You don't have to be so sophisticated. The U.N. already six times said that they cannot have one, you know, centrifuge. I don't know why suddenly we're caving in. This is a bad deal and we have to prevent it at all costs.