Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that he “utterly rejects” the emerging nuclear deal between western powers and Iran, calling it a “bad deal” and promising that Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself.

Israel believes Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, and says international pressure should be stepped up, not eased, in order to force Iran to dismantle its nuclear programme. Mr Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran, unilaterally if necessary, if he concludes that diplomatic pressure on Iran has failed.

Mr Kerry’s decision to fly to Geneva comes after signs that global powers and Iran were close to a deal that would cap some of Iran’s suspected nuclear programme in exchange for limited relief from economic sanctions.

“I understand the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva as well they should because they got everything and paid nothing,” Netanyahu told reporters.

“They wanted relief of sanctions after years of gruelling sanctions, they got that. They paid nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability. So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal,” Mr Netanyahu said.

“This is a very bad deal and Israel utterly rejects it. Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and defend the security of its people,” he said.

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