News / Middle East

    Kerry: Israeli Security Tops US Agenda in Iran Nuclear Talks

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) listens as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference following a meeting at Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem, Dec. 5, 2013.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) listens as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference following a meeting at Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem, Dec. 5, 2013.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Israeli security tops the Obama administration's agenda in international efforts to limit Iran's nuclear program.

    Kerry said Thursday after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem that the United States will do everything in its power to ensure Iran's ability to create nuclear weapons is "terminated."  He said both the U.S. and Israel agree on the goal of a long-term, comprehensive agreement with Iran.

    "A peaceful program should not be that hard to prove, and everybody will know whether or not in the end the comprehensive agreement actually provides a test adequate to prove the peacefulness of that program," he said.

    Netanyahu has been a relentless critic of last month's interim agreement to contain Iran's nuclear program, calling it an "historic mistake."

    Softer tones

    But in their first meeting since the deal struck in Geneva, the prime minister chose not to publicly criticize Kerry. Netanyahu said a lasting solution to what Israel sees as Iran's nuclear threat must include ending any possible development of atomic weapons.

    "In the final deal, unlike the interim deal, it is crucial to bring about a final agreement about the termination of Iran's military nuclear capability," he said.

    Iran says it has never sought to develop nuclear weapons and has now agreed to eliminate stockpiles of highly-enriched uranium and suspend work on a plutonium reactor in exchange for partial relief from some sanctions.

    Netanyahu told reporters following his talks with Kerry that he is concerned about easing the economic pressures that brought Iran's new government to the negotiating table, saying "steps must be taken to prevent further erosion of sanctions."

    Vigilance

    Kerry says the international community remains "vigilant" about its sanctions regime.

    "We say to any country that contemplates moving ahead of sanctions: don't," he said. "Because those sanctions will continue to be enforced."

    Political directors and technical experts from the United States, Russia, France, China, Germany, and Britain are working with Iran to begin these first steps over the next six months to allow time for a more comprehensive nuclear agreement that Kerry says "can withstand everyone's test."

    Earlier this week, Kerry met in Brussels with both European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about how best to move forward on the Iranian nuclear deal.

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    Comments
         
    by: Dr. Hollenbrook from: UK
    December 05, 2013 11:14 AM
    yeah, sure... it would be an insult to the Israelis if they haven't figured out the treachery and degeneracy of this Foreign US administration. I believe the Israelis are the last bastion of power integrity and sheer determination in a paralyzed and directionless world. Their assessment of the situation has been solid and public - no one could claim that they did not know what is coming... including the squalid Iranians... now, i have read the snide remarks and the silly posturing of the Iranians (mostly under different names...) but even as silly and stupid as the Iranians are, they know very well that if they cross the famous line... they will be consumed by their own population and hung upside down from petrol stations.
    In Response

    by: Schopenhauer from: USA
    December 05, 2013 1:02 PM
    "...the last bastion of power integrity (sic) and sheer determination in a paralyzed and directionless world..." Right on. Determination to systematically disenfranchise the indigenious Palestinian population and terrorize it into migration to Jordan, Lebanon, or elsewhere? Determination to exercise exclusive and absolute control over the nuclear option in the Near East with its modern and sophisticated arsenal of WMD? Sounds like you've stopped taking your meds and are overcome by the Zionist government delusions that most of the rest of the world scrapped some time ago.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    December 05, 2013 9:23 AM
    Kerry was quite diplomatic when he said "Israeli security tops the Obama administration's agenda". But we know that while America - USA - would do everything to see Israel's success, not so Mr. Obama who heads so-called Obama administration. All we expect from Kerry is to stand up to his feet and defend America and American interests the way former secretaries did it. Even under the same present innuendos, Mrs. Clinton was able to defend and project the interest of USA; she took charge of her responsibility both to the country and to allies, and did not allow one man's interest or leaning toward islamism divert the overall interest of the larger stakeholders. If since Collin Powell, Condoleeza Rice and Hilary Clinton the office of the secretary of state has not let the country down, why would Kerry fail now?

    While we know that Obama is the head of the US administration overall, yet we know also that John Kerry is in charge at the foreign office and diplomatic engagements, and therefore the failure of the diplomatic settlement of the Iran nuclear deal can be blamed on Kerry's subservient dependence on Mr. Obama for direction. Which shouldn't be, though good relations maintained. Israel can be calm now trying to marshal its plans for future engagement vis-a-vis Iran's nuclear program, but much depends on the outcome of the mid 2014 rounding up of diplomatic pursuit of the deal.

    During her presidential campaign, Mrs. Clinton had said Iran would not be allowed to become a nuclear power. She stuck to her gun and proved to be someone worthy of her word. It is USA's policy that Iran must not possess nuclear arms, will the country make good this demand or will it be another red line "not drawn by USA" but by the world, even though a USA president announced it to the world?

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