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‘Iran nuclear deal a mistake of historic proportions’

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says it paves the way for funding terrorism.

FILE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Picture: AFP.

TEL AVIV - Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu has called the newly signed Iranian nuclear deal"a bad mistake of historic proportions".

Israeli diplomats have been at the forefront of efforts to block the agreement, repeatedly stressing it "a disaster".

Israeli diplomats were prepared for the deal despite its repeated extensions over recent weeks.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said it paves the way for funding terrorism from the billions of dollars Iran would get when sanctions were lifted.

The country's culture and sports minister says the deal is "bad for the free world, bad for humanity and gives the Islamic Republic a license to kill."

Iranian officials have over the years repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel and Iranian-backed militants groups have attacked the country.

Now the Israeli leadership is focusing efforts on stopping the deal's approval in the American Congress.

They have reportedly been instructed to emphasise loopholes in the agreement including concessions made on the number of centrifuges Iran is allowed to keep, supervision and concessions Tehran has made.

The agreement marks a watershed in Tehran's relations with Western nations, which suspect that Iran has used its civil nuclear programme as a cover to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

But Iran denies this.

Among the biggest sticking points in the past week has been Iran's insistence that a United Nations Security Council arms embargo and ban on its ballistic missile programme dating from 2006 be lifted immediately if an agreement is reached.