Kerry Assures Netanyahu Core Sanctions on Iran Will Remain Despite New Deal

Netanyahu Declared New Agreement 'Historic Mistake'

By Reuters

Published December 05, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that core sanctions against Iran would remain in place despite its interim nuclear deal with world powers.

The Nov. 24 accord in Geneva was denounced as a “historic mistake” by Netanyahu, increasing strains in an alliance already marked by his past disputes with U.S. President Barack Obama over strategy on Iran and the Palestinians.

Visiting Israel as the talks with Tehran gathered pace, Kerry met an irate Netanyahu. But they worked to affirm their friendship on Thursday: Their offices issued pictures of them smiling in private conversation, and while briefing reporters afterwards Kerry referred to Netanyahu by his nickname “Bibi”.

Israel argues an easing of some sanctions on Iran before it abandons nuclear projects with bomb-making potential risks snowballing as foreign business partners rush into the breach.

“Steps must be taken to prevent a further erosion of sanctions,” said Netanyahu, who has described a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic as a mortal menace to the Jewish state. Iran says it enriching uranium only for peaceful nuclear energy.

Kerry said Washington would confer closely with its Israeli ally about crafting a permanent Iran agreement after the six-month confidence-building period laid out by the Geneva deal under which Iran will curb sensitive aspects of its nuclear programme in exchange for limited relief from sanctions.

“I can’t emphasise enough that Israel’s security in this negotiation is at the top of our agenda and the United States will do everything in its power to make certain that Iran’s nuclear programme, the programme’s weaponisation possibilities, is terminated,” Kerry said.

GOING SLOW ON SANCTIONS

The Obama administration was warning any other country against “moving ahead of sanctions” in trading with Iran, Kerry said.

“The fundamental sanctions regime of oil and banking remains absolutely in place. It is not changed. And we will be stepping up our effort of enforcement through the Treasury Department and through the appropriate agencies of the United States,” Kerry said.

Israel’s fierce opposition about the Geneva deal have raised speculation - fuelled by regular public hints from Netanyahu - that it might carry out long-threatened unilateral strikes against Iran.

But while Israel is widely assumed to have the region’s only nuclear arsenal, many independent analysts believe it lacks the conventional clout to deliver lasting damage to the distant, dispersed and well-defended Iranian facilities.

The Israelis are also unlikely to go it alone as their most important foreign partner is engaged in diplomacy with Tehran.

Hoping to stay Israel’s hand, the Americans have invested heavily in its strategic defences. Kerry said that during his visit he hoped to tour Palmahim air base, near Tel Aviv, where Israel’s command-and-control centre for the Arrow ballistic missile interceptor and other systems is located.

“I want to see first-hand the remarkable ballistic missile defence technologies in place that our nation has spent over 20 years building with our friends here in Israel,” he said.

“The advancement of these programmes in recent years, I think, is a reflection of President Obama’s and his administration’s strong commitment, unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.