Iran nuclear deal does not halt its bomb bid: Israel PM

JERUSALEM (AFP) - An international agreement to halt Iran's nuclear programme, which went into force on Monday, will not halt Teheran from pursuing its bid to build military atomic capability, Israel's Prime Minister said.

"The interim agreement which went into force today does not prevent Iran from realising its intention to develop nuclear weapons," Mr Benjamin Netanyahu told a special session of Parliament. "This objective is still before us."

Iran on Monday halted production of 20 per cent enriched uranium, marking the entry into force of an interim deal with world powers on its disputed nuclear programme.

Western powers kept to their part of the deal reached in November, with the European Union and the United States announcing they were easing crippling sanctions slapped on Iran.

The move came as the United Nations invited Iran to attend an international peace conference on ending the war in Teheran's ally Syria, despite strong objections from Arab and Western nations.

Implementation of the landmark nuclear deal also started the clock on negotiating a trickier long-term accord to end the nuclear stand-off with and avert a possible war with Iran.