President Barack Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett spoke to the J Street conference participants on Monday about the administration’s “commitment to a just and lasting peace”. Like Obama several times before, she acknowledged on the second day of the conference that some people were frustrated with the state of the peace process. “We have a lot of work ahead, but peace is the long-term interest of Israeli and the Palestinian people, region, US, world,” she said.
Some remarks sounded exactly like those made at the AIPAC conference - Jarrett spoke about Obama’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security, closer cooperation with Israel, joint exercises, and more. “I’ve known this president for 20 years - he means what he says and says what he means”, she said.
Speaking about Iran, Jarret said that “the president is determined to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Another U.S. administration official, Vice President Joe Biden’s National Security advisor, stressed the importance of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. However, Tony Blinken warned against “loose talk of war [that is] incredibly counterproductive… it benefits Iran, because the price of oil goes up and the money goes from our pocket to Iran’s pocket.” He added that “our approach is different - we believe now it’s time to talk softly. It’s possible to be smart and tough. Israel and the U.S. both assess Iran doesn’t have yet the nuclear weapon.”
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