Israeli PM Netanyahu: Easing Iran sanctions like 'putting hole in tire'

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a fresh salvo on talks in Geneva to curtail Teheran's nuclear programme, said on Sunday that easing sanctions on Iran would be "like putting a hole in your tire".

Even amid news that negotiations among leading world nations have failed so far to produce an agreement on curbing Iran's atomic activities, Mr Netanyahu kept up recent criticisms, calling the talks "a very bad deal" for everyone except Iran.

"Iran gives practically nothing and it gets a hell of a lot," Mr Netanyahu told CBS television's Face the Nation programme.

"That's not a good deal. I hope - I can only express my wish - that the P5+1 use the time to get a good deal that takes away Iran's nuclear military capability," the Israeli leader said.

"They get the hole in the tire of the sanctions and the air begins to come out and that's what they want," Mr Netanyahu added, speaking of Iran.

Iran's talks with the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, known as the P5+1, ended with no agreement after three grueling days, but the two sides will meet again on Nov 20.

Mr Netanyahu, who joined with various neighbouring leaders in protesting any easing of sanctions added: "When you have the Arabs and Israelis speaking in one voice, it doesn't happen very often. I think it's worth paying attention to us."

Earlier on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted on NBC television's Meet the Press programme that there is "zero gap" between the administration of US President Barack Obama and its commitment to Israel, with diplomatic relations between the two allies under strain over the Iran nuclear talks.

"I think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe, and particularly of our allies like Israel and Gulf states and others in the region," Mr Kerry said.