Israel Wary of American Promises on Iran

Thursday, October 24, 2013 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walked away from Wednesday's meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome seemingly still unconvinced that Washington knows what it's doing vis-a-vis Iran's nuclear program.

Israel has grown increasingly uneasy as the US and other Western powers appear ready to drop sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for what amount to "cosmetic concessions."

At the start of Wednesday's meeting, Kerry sought to calm the Israelis by stating, "We will need to know that actions are being taken, which make it clear, undeniably clear, fail-safe to the world, that whatever program is pursued is indeed a peaceful program."

America's top diplomat reiterated his position that "no deal is better than a bad deal."

But during their marathon seven-hour sit-down, The New York Times cited Netanyahu as telling Kerry that "a partial deal that leaves Iran with these capabilities is a bad deal."

Indeed, the deal currently being touted by both Iran and the Obama Administration would permit Tehran to keep most of its nuclear program intact, including its uranium enrichment facilities, so long as Iran promises to never build an atomic bomb.

"We, of course, cannot agree to that," Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said later in an interview with Israel Radio.

Like Netanyahu, Steinitz believes the West is making a big mistake by not actually increasing sanctions in order to bring Iran to a breaking point and truly bring an end to the nuclear crisis.

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