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US Faces Israeli, Saudi Concerns Over Iran Nuclear Talks

US Faces Israeli, Saudi Concerns Over Iran Nuclear Talksi
March 06, 2014 8:50 PM
President Obama's push to limit Iran's nuclear program includes a promise to Israel and Saudi Arabia that he will not allow Tehran to develop nuclear weapons. But Israeli PM Netanyahu says Israel will never be secure if Iran continues to enrich uranium. Scott Stearns reports.
President Obama's push to limit Iran's nuclear program includes a promise to Israel and Saudi Arabia that he will not allow Tehran to develop nuclear weapons. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will never be secure if Iran continues to enrich uranium.

In their meeting at the White House this week, Obama told the prime minister that his commitment to blocking Iran from atomic weapons is absolute.

But U.S. officials involved in talks on Iran's nuclear program say there is general agreement that Iran will ultimately be allowed to continue enriching some uranium for civilian research at levels far below weapons-grade.

Netanyahu said "that would be a grave error."

"It would leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power," he said. "It would enable Iran to rapidly develop nuclear weapons at a time when the world's attention is focused elsewhere."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his country has never sought nuclear weapons.

"There was first a perception that this was nothing but a façade for a weapons program and an illusion that it could be brought to an end through pressure and intimidation," he said.

With Israeli defense officials vowing to intercept any possible threat on any day in any place, former U.S. ambassador Adam Ereli says Washington's promises on Iran only go so far.

He said, "Obviously Israel is the most directly concerned of all the parties by Iran's nuclear program because it represents a very real, very direct threat to Israel."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says attacking Iran does not guarantee security.

"Those who say strike and hit need to go look at what happens after you've done that," he said. "Whether that permanently eliminates the program or opens up all kinds of other possibilities including Iran leaving the nuclear proliferation treaty, not even allowing IAEA inspectors in, not living under any international regimen."

It is part of Washington's new approach to Iran, says American University professor Hillary Mann Leverett.

"Kerry has long been open to, long looked for a way of conflict resolution in the Middle East that would include, not exclude the Iranians," she said.

Despite objections from long-time U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia. Mann Leverett says, "The United States is going to have to say: 'Yes you are our allies but you can not stand in the way of critical U.S. interests.' Just as when Nixon went to China we kept Japan and Taiwan as allies but we didn't let them stand in the way of the biggest geopolitical prize of the century: going to China. The same thing has to happen with Iran."

Promising to lead the push for tougher action if Iranian nuclear talks fail, Obama follows up his White House meeting with the Israeli leader with a trip to Riyadh later this month for talks with Saudi King Abdullah.

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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 07, 2014 10:07 AM
O yea, we know how easy it is to convince those Saudis who have little grime in their skull for brain. It may be easy to convince them, but Israel understands what nuclear ambition means in the hands of Iran. It is not going to be like keeping Japan and Taiwan waiting in the wings while Kerry walks over to Tehran to have a party, thinking after threatening them with boycott and isolation they will fag out. No it doesn’t work. It seems the US actually wants out of the relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia, thus deliberately fouling up the negotiations. With the removal of the military strike from the options on the table, and the falling of Russia’s hands in the matters in Ukraine and Syria, Iran is bound to assume much stronger clout to forge forward with its nuclear ambition, not dictated by anyone – not IAEA, not P5+1, not USA or European Union. Whatever thing Obama is doing, the shifting of the goalpost in favor of Iran sets the stage for a unilateral strike by Israel, since it is impossible to carry Saudi Arabia along due to obvious reasons.

And Saudi Arabia on its own, has been toothless all through, except in the sponsorship of al qaida and other terror networks. Leaving it to the caprice of terrorism entails a more dangerous dimension to it, in that if the nuclear materials enter terrorists' hands, they will not only destroy Iran, not only Israel, but a whole range of Western alliance. However, that is going to be a last resort – that is when and if Israel gets deceived into believing that Iran’s nuclear can truly be peaceful and toe the line of USA to allow Iran “limited enrichment” inside of Iran.

by: Bill from: USA
March 07, 2014 9:36 AM
The problem the U.S. has now, is that after the Syrian "red line" none of our allies or foes believes Obama will use force. They just don't trust the administration.

by: Bow from: US
March 07, 2014 7:44 AM
hey, ultimately, the US/Israel will have to confront the Iranian Mullas and Ayatopas - or whatever they call those Muslim child molesters.
All i have to say is if you want to have it done right, let the israelis do it. The Iranian Arabs will do the rest... Obama should have given them the "green light" long time ago. Any attempt to negotiate with these squalid Iranians will jeopardize the whole world.

by: Bob from: USA
March 07, 2014 4:25 AM
Who is the US to "allow" or disallow Iran to do anything?!! Iran has done as it pleases for the last 35 years, and there is not a whole bunch the warmongers, including Netanyahu could do about it but BARK! Both Obama and Netanyahu ought to stop the BARKING! It is embarrassing for the rest of us Americans. Just get along with Iran. They are not going anywhere.

by: Chukwuemeka Ukor from: lagos,Nigeria
March 07, 2014 2:13 AM
It amusés me thé way thé americans are treating these iranians enrichment of uraniums and isrealites has been hammering on it.i will want thé isrealites to strike all thé sites and let whatever will happen happen.because all théir target is to erase isreal out of thé earth which they have said repeatedly.

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