WASHINGTON – As a new round of nuclear talks is set to begin, the ongoing bickering between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry continues.
In a press conference in Washington, alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Kerry said that he believes Netanyahu is wrong when he says that a deal with Iran will harm Israel's security.
- Iran says next round of nuclear talks 'difficult'
- Iran's Rohani warns against 'excessive' nuclear demands
- Iranian dissidents say Iran has built secret new nuclear site
Kerry said "I have great respect for his concerns about his country," however maintained that instead of making Israel less safe, an accord with Iran would actually reduce the country's risk.
The American secretary of state, who will head to Geneva for talks with the Iranians, clarified that Netanyahu "should express his concerns and he has every right in the world to publicly state his position and defend what he believes is his interest."
He refused however to assure that the world powers will in fact sign a deal with Iran in the current round of talks, which will be renewed on Wednesday, and said: "I have no specific expectations with respect to the negotiations in Geneva except that we will negotiate in good faith and we will try to get a first-step agreement."
Kerry was scheduled to visit Israel during the weekend yet announced he will "try" to come to Israel after American Thanksgiving later this month.
Meanwhile, White House Spokesperson Jay Carney reiterated previous remarks on Monday, and said that the US commitment to the security of Israel is unshakable. He added that American President Barack Obama speaks with Netanyahu more than with any other world leader and shares any relevant information with Israel.
According to Carney, Iran is offered with a moderate relief that is subject to immediate change, thus sustaining the sanctions regime that brought Iran to the negotiations table in the first place.
Obama himself will host senior senators on Tuesday in order to brief them ahead of the scheduled Geneva talks. The American president will ask members of the Banking, Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence panels to not intensify sanctions on Iran at this point, in order to not harm negotiations efforts.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop