-- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up his opposition to the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran, the United States and its European allies, saying it was "time for the international community to insist on a better deal."
"A better deal would significantly roll back Iran's nuclear infrastructure," Netanyahu said in a statement on Wednesday, "A better deal would link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to a change in Iran's behavior."
The prime minister, who is scheduled to meet the U.S. House Speaker John Boehner later today, said, "Israel's destruction is non-negotiable," and, "given Iran's murderous regime, a clear path to the bomb is negotiable."
Netanyahu has been a fierce critic of the international talks taking place for the past 18 months, as he believes potential concessions offered to Iran "would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world."
On Tuesday the Israeli leader publicly slammed "Iran's obdurate refusal to reveal to the IAEA its activities to develop nuclear weapons and, I add, Iran's campaign of conquest and terrorism -- which is open to all, everyone sees it, before our very eyes -- from the Golan Heights to Yemen, from Iraq to Gaza and so many other places."
Foreign negotiators, working beyond a March 31 deadline in Lausanne, Switzerland, say they are optimistic that an agreement can be drafted. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said “a broad framework of understanding” exists, but that some issues still need to be worked out.
Iran’s foreign minister, speaking Tuesday, said the negotiations have been productive.
"We've accomplished quite a bit, but people needed to get some rest and start over early in the morning," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. "And I hope we can finalize the work on Wednesday -- and hopefully begin the process of drafting."