Dianne Feinstein: Iran Deal Does Not Threaten Israel's Survival

04/05/2015 10:22 am ET | Updated Apr 06, 2015

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Sunday that the new nuclear accord with Iran will not threaten the survival of Israel, criticizing the stance taken by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

CNN "State of the Union" host Jim Acosta asked Feinstein Sunday morning whether she believes the deal threatens Israel's survival.

"No, I don't," she replied.

"I don't think it's helpful for Israel to come out and oppose this one opportunity to change a major dynamic, which is downhill -- a downhill dynamic in this part of the world," Feinstein continued.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced that Iran, the United States and five partner countries had agreed on a framework for a comprehensive deal, aimed at assuring the international community that Iran’s nuclear program will be restricted to peaceful purposes. In return for reducing its stockpile of uranium and decreasing the number of centrifuges in its nuclear facilities, Iran will receive sanctions relief.

Netanyahu quickly blasted the agreement, telling Obama that it "would threaten the survival" of Israel.

Feinstein said on Sunday that she disagreed.

"The surveillance and inspection and transparency runs 20 to 25 years for everything, all the centrifuges, rotors, the mills, the production facilities for yellowcake go out to 25 years of IAEA surveillance and inspection," she said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

She noted that for the deal to succeed, "a precondition has to be that there's going to be a real re-dedication in the IAEA to do the kind of work that's going to be necessary to do 24/7, 365 days a year in the various facilities.'

"But," she added, "I think that having watched this for a long time and knowing this particular [Iranian] foreign minister, I think this is the best that's going to get done."

Netanyahu also appeared on CNN Sunday, telling Acosta he didn't trust Iran to keep up its end of the deal.

"I wouldn't bet the shop on inspections because totalitarian regimes have a way of cheating," Netanyahu said. "Iran has cheated in the past. North Korea ... What is happening with this deal is that what has been illegitimate is being legitimized. Iran's nuclear program is being legitimized."

Feinstein has been a frequent critic of Netanyahu. When the prime minister spoke to the U.S. Congress last month about the potential Iran deal -- at the invitation of Republicans and without coordinating with the White House -- Feinstein called his speech "humiliating, embarrassing, and very arrogant."

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