Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Tuesday that the deal being negotiated between world powers and Iran would allow it to develop nuclear weapons, hours before a deadline to reach an accord expired.
Netanyahu has consisently condemned the proposed deal with Iran and has not ruled out the use of military force to keep it from acquiring atomic weapons. Iran denies its nuclear programme is aimed at achieving military abilities.
"We believe that it is a fundamental mistake to enable such a terrorist regime to get to nuclear weapons, which is what the proposed agreement will give them," the prime minister said ahead of a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.
"It will give them a definite pathway to nuclear bombs -– not a bomb, but nuclear bombs."
Netanyahu added that the lifting of sanctions against Iran would allow it to "replenish their coffers with many billions -- actually perhaps up to hundreds of billions of dollars -- to enable them to continue their terrorism and aggression."
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"This is something that is wrong," he said. "It is dangerous. It is dangerous for Israel, for Italy, for Europe, for the United States, for the world."
The deadline of midnight (2200 GMT) for an accord ending a dangerous 13-year standoff over Iran's nuclear ambitions was widely expected to be extended, but only for a few more days.
Iran has been negotiating with the so-called P5+1 powers -- the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany.
A Russian-based security firm has said a computer worm widely linked to Israel has been used to spy on the negotiations.
Swiss and Austrian investigators have launched probes into alleged spying in hotels hosting the delicate nuclear talks, with Israel denying its secret services were involved.
Israel is believed to be the only country in its region with atomic bombs, although it has never confirmed its nuclear military capacity.