News / USA

White House: 'Premature' to Criticize Nuclear Deal With Iran

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (3R) poses with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  (2R) and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (2L) at the start of two days of closed-door nuclear talks, Gene
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (3R) poses with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2R) and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (2L) at the start of two days of closed-door nuclear talks, Gene
Reuters
The White House said on Friday that Israeli and Saudi criticism of a deal taking shape with Iran to curb its nuclear program was premature, as unease about the plan grew among U.S. lawmakers and Middle Eastern allies.
 
“There is no deal, but there is an opportunity here for a possible diplomatic solution, and that is exactly what the president is pursuing,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama on Air Force One to New Orleans.
 
“So any critique of the deal is premature,” Earnest said.
 
Tehran, engaged in a critical round of talks in Geneva with the United States and five other world powers, is seeking relief from financial sanctions imposed by America and the European Union that have slashed its oil sales, severely hurting its economy.
 
Obama said on Thursday that he was open to “modest relief” on sanctions if Iran halts advancements on its nuclear program as talks on a permanent deal continue.
 
Asked about sharp criticism of the proposals by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Earnest said the United States and close ally Israel were “in complete agreement about the need to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
 
Washington and its allies believe Tehran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover for seeking the ability to make a weapon, a charge Iran denies.
 
Netanyahu warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his European counterparts that Iran would be getting “the deal of the century” if they carried out proposals to grant Tehran limited, temporary sanctions relief in exchange for a partial suspension of, and pledge not to expand, its nuclear program.
 
Saudi Arabia also has complained bitterly about the U.S. thaw in relations with Shi'ite Muslim Iran, the main regional rival of the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Push for further sanctions
 

U.S. lawmakers have threatened to slap new sanctions on Iran even as the talks in Geneva have appeared to progress, despite White House appeals to hold off while it tests the diplomatic waters.
 
Kerry made an unscheduled trip to Geneva to try to help bridge what he said were “important gaps” in the negotiations, which appeared likely to be extended into Saturday.
 
The Senate banking committee may introduce a bill with new sanctions on Iran's oil sales after similar legislation was passed by the House of Representatives in July. And some Republicans are considering introducing a package of tighter Iran sanctions as an amendment to a defense authorization bill that is expected to be debated next month.
 
“We need to see the details, but if there really is a deal this bad, lawmakers are going to have to explore their options,” a senior aide to a senator said on Friday. Pro-Israel sentiment runs high on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill.
 
Eric Cantor, majority leader in the Republican-controlled House, said the emerging deal in Geneva would fall short if it failed to completely halt Iran's nuclear program.
 
“We should not race to accept a bad deal, but should keep up the pressure until the Iranians are willing to make significant concessions,” he said.
 
Criticism also has begun bubbling up from some leading pro-Israel groups in Washington. White House officials met some of the more hawkish American Jewish leaders last week but failed to win broad support for a pause in further sanctions against Iran.
 
“Any deal that breathes life back into Iran's economy in return for token and superficial moves that put Tehran no further from nuclear breakout ... appears to be a horrific strategic error,” said Josh Block, chief executive officer of The Israel Project, a non-partisan, pro-Israel organization.
 
J Street, a more liberal lobbying group, took a different tack, urging supporters on its website to “tell your senators: don't undermine Iran negotiations with new sanctions.”
 
There was no immediate comment on the Geneva talks from the largest and most influential pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Nora O'Donnell from: USA
November 09, 2013 4:51 PM
you hold fast - Israel. The whole might and fury of Christendom is with you.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 09, 2013 6:46 AM
My take on this is Israel should prepare to go it alone. The US has made it abundantly clear it is not prepared to go it the way that favors Israel and remove the burden Iran’s nuclear threat has placed on Israel’s shoulders. So what remains to be said or done but to call it quits with the US insidious treachery, cut this seemingly economical and diplomatic benefit that has hidden in it existential threat to the state of Israel. Under president Obama, Israel has been exposed to the most dangerous cliff in its diplomatic struggle against its archenemies all over the world and more especially avowed enemies in the gulf region.

Imagine that this give away diplomatic overture from the US to Iran is coinciding with another equally devastating allegation that Yasser Arafat died by radioactive poisoning, with accusing fingers pointing at Israel while every evidence is there that Arafat never left his presidential palace during the possible time the poisoning occurred. Which leaves significant chunk of possibilities to an insider job, including if Arafat himself was fiddling with any such materials in prosecution of his rivalry with Israel; possibility of power tussle with Gaza opposition; Iran’s proxy use of Hezbollah either in liaison to attack Israel or to see Arafat’s concession to Tel Aviv did not see the light of day – to trade Jerusalem for any return – which is more probable lead. But were these mere coincidence, or does seem somebody is manipulating and maneuvering it?

All these must be coming from someone capable of whipping up trouble for Israel intended to overwhelm the Jewish state. But it instead brings out the headiness in the Jewish resolve to NEVER AGAIN be overwhelmed by its enemies. It unilaterally places the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the cooler while the Jewish nation prepares to go without its so-called most influential ally, USA, to fend off what not only Israel but the entire world, friends and foes, see as Israel’s most potent existential threat – the Iran’s nuclear program.

Israel understands it is now or never. Like every other person, Israel understands that there is no shying away from the truth of the potency of this threat. Iran too understands it, but it too has a policy of no retreat no surrender. What do we say then? The die is cast! The stage is set, prepared in the White House. The movie is made in USA, produced and directed from the White House. Unless something is done and urgently too, to dislodge the nuclear program of Iran, the world is soon to witness the most ferocious war theater of the millennium. I bet, not even a good chunk of the White House knows this, though it is all originating right under their nose, and Congress will find they have been used and short changed lending undeserved support to a president that has completely different ideas from known US policy goals ever. But then it will be too late to know how to avert the master minded disaster. Which is beyond the Audacity Of Hope, though what is hoped for in this case is a disaster for Israel, but it will be disaster for all, and Israel will gain from it later as it will put paid to the Israel quest for a homeland not dimmed occupied – the Israeli-Palestinian question of who owns the land. And for the first time in recent history, Israel will have the support of some Arab and islamic countries, especially Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon.
It's as simple as this, NO DEAL IS BETTER THAN A BAD DEAL.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid