* Netanyahu urges U.S. Jews to help avert "bad deal"
* Prospects for interim accord causes U.S.-Israeli friction
* Israeli cabinet minister to lobby members of U.S. Congress
(Adds Netanyahu comments to Jewish leaders from US, Canada)
By Jeffrey Heller
JERUSALEM, Nov 10 Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu took his case against a nuclear accord with
Iran directly to the U.S. public on Sunday, denouncing "a very
bad deal" that he feared the Obama administration was pursuing.
Negotiators from world powers will resume talks with Iran in
10 days after failing late on Saturday to reach agreement on an
initial proposal to ease international sanctions against Tehran
in return for some restraints on its nuclear programme.
Israel is sceptical of any move to reduce sanctions without
first eliminating what it sees as a danger that Iran could build
a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies pursuing any such ambition.
On CBS television's Face the Nation on Sunday, Netanyahu
said the proposed interim agreement, as "described to us by
American sources", would have allowed Iran to maintain its
capability to enrich material for nuclear bombs.
A member of Netanyahu's security cabinet, Naftali Bennett,
plans to travel to the United States this week, and is expected
to voice Israel's concerns to dozens of members of Congress,
where support for Israel is traditionally strong.
In Jerusalem, Netanyahu urged hundreds of supporters
attending an assembly of the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency,
many of them from the United States, to help him avert what he
called a "bad and dangerous deal" emerging with Iran.
"You are our partners, you are our brothers and sisters, and
we are one big Jewish family. Like all families we have to face
challenges together, that's what families do," Netanyahu said.
"Do you want that?" he asked the audience, referring to what
he called a possibility that Iran could some day fire missiles
tipped with nuclear warheads at the United States.
Many in the audience shouted back "no".
"Well, do something about it, we are," Netanyahu said.
"It is time now to speak up, all of us, all of us have to
stand up now and be counted," he said.
Talks between Iran and six world powers in Geneva failed to
clinch the interim deal on Saturday after France hinted it came
short of neutralising the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
Supporters of the proposed accord say it would have been
only a first step towards a more comprehensive agreement. Most
sanctions would be left in place and any easing could be
reversed if Iran did not continue to cooperate.
"Nobody has talked about getting rid of the current
architecture of sanctions. The pressure will remain," U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC's Meet the Press.
"We are not blind, and I don't think we're stupid," Kerry
said. "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."
Netanyahu's relations with President Barack Obama have often
been tense. An American-accented speaker of English, he has
occasionally used U.S. media to make his case to the public.
Netanyahu told his cabinet he had spoken by telephone over
the weekend with Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron,
French President Francois Hollande, Russian President Vladimir
Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"I asked all the leaders, 'What's the rush?'," Netanyahu
told his cabinet on Sunday. "I requested they wait," he said.
"It is good that that was ultimately the decision."
Netanyahu has long issued veiled threats that Israel, widely
believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear power, could take
unilateral military action against Iran.
He scoffed at assessments made by some security experts that
Israel lacks the military capability to stop Iran's nuclear
drive on its own, and would risk international isolation if it
tried to do so.
"They must know something I don't know," Netanyahu said. "We
will always defend ourselves."
U.S. officials said on Friday it was Obama who telephoned
the Israeli leader in an apparent effort to calm his anger over
a prospective interim deal.
On Sunday, Wendy Sherman, U.S. undersecretary for political
affairs, arrived in Jerusalem for consultations with Israeli
officials about the Geneva talks and Iran, a U.S. official said.
The West's intensified engagement with Iran has also upset
some Arab allies of the United States, including Saudi Arabia,
and drawn concern in Congress, where some Republicans and
Democrats have called for even tougher sanctions.
"There are many Arab leaders in the region who are saying
this is a very bad deal for the region and for the world,"
Netanyahu said on Sunday on CBS. "And you know when you have the
Arabs and the Israelis speaking in one voice, it doesn't happen
very often, I think it's worth paying attention to it."
(Additional reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Allyn Fisher-Ilan;
Editing by Alistair Lyon)