Kerry, Netanyahu Draw Differing Lines on Iran Nuclear Dispute

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 23, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry and Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Net­an­yahu on Wed­nes­day met to dis­cuss Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram, when the Middle East­ern lead­er offered more spe­cif­ics than his U.S. coun­ter­part did for how he wants Ir­an to ad­dress in­ter­na­tion­al fears that it is pur­su­ing a nuc­le­ar weapon.

“It is of ma­jor con­cern to all of us that Ir­an not be able to de­vel­op a nuc­le­ar weapon,” Kerry told re­port­ers be­fore start­ing the closed-door meet­ing with Net­an­yahu, ac­cord­ing to a State De­part­ment tran­script. “We will need to know that ac­tions are be­ing taken which make it crys­tal clear, un­deni­ably clear, failsafe to the world, that whatever pro­gram is pur­sued is in­deed a peace­ful pro­gram.”

The United States and five oth­er gov­ern­ments last week joined Ir­an for talks aimed at ul­ti­mately de­fus­ing atom­ic ten­sions with Tehran, which in­sists its nuc­le­ar am­bi­tions are peace­ful. Plans are in place for a Nov. 7-8 fol­low-up meet­ing between Ir­a­ni­an dip­lo­mats and coun­ter­parts from the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many.

Net­an­yahu, whose gov­ern­ment is not par­ti­cip­at­ing in the talks, said in the pub­lic re­marks that he agreed with Kerry that “Ir­an must not have a nuc­le­ar-weapons cap­ab­il­ity.” He then went a step fur­ther, re­new­ing his pre­vi­ous de­mand that Ir­an dis­mantle all urani­um-en­rich­ment and heavy-wa­ter equip­ment cap­able of gen­er­at­ing nuc­le­ar-bomb fuel.

“I think we’re very close to get­ting that,” Net­an­yahu said. “The best way to get it peace­fully is to main­tain the pres­sure on Ir­an.”

The Is­raeli lead­er said “it would be a tra­gic mis­take” to ease eco­nom­ic sanc­tions against Ir­an “right be­fore that goal is real­ized.”

A high-level Obama in­sider said the White House is con­sid­er­ing a full or par­tial re­lease of Ir­a­ni­an fin­an­cial as­sets frozen in oth­er coun­tries, as well as po­ten­tial re­lief from re­stric­tions on sales of ci­vil­ian-air­craft com­pon­ents to Ir­an, For­eign Policy re­por­ted on Tues­day.

In a sep­ar­ate in­ter­view with the magazine, Is­raeli In­tel­li­gence Min­is­ter Yuval Stein­itz said “Ir­an is now com­ing to the ne­go­ti­at­ing table solely be­cause of the pres­sure.”

“They are really on the verge of the col­lapse and that’s the reas­on they’re com­ing to the ne­go­ti­at­ing table with some will­ing­ness to ne­go­ti­ate,” Stein­itz said in the re­marks pub­lished on Tues­day.

“The pres­sure on the re­gime is enorm­ous. You can get a very ser­i­ous agree­ment for this. Don’t give it up so eas­ily,” he main­tained. “And don’t give them ex­tra oxy­gen while you’re ne­go­ti­at­ing with them. On the con­trary, in­crease the pres­sure.”

What We're Following See More »
As Expected, Clinton Goes with Kaine
12 hours ago
Convention Ratings Same as 2012
18 hours ago
Wikileaks Releases Trove of DNC Docs
19 hours ago

"Wikileaks published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Democratic National Committee Friday, just days before the start of the party's convention in Philadelphia. The documents included briefings on off-the-record fundraisers and candid photographs."

Clinton Announcing VP Pick Today
22 hours ago

Hillary Clinton "is widely expected to announce her choice" of vice president "in an email to supporters while on a campaign swing in Florida on Friday afternoon." The consensus: it'll be Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, although Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also said to be in the running.

New Round of Polls Show a Tight Race
1 days ago
  • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
  • A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
  • And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.