Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded Secretary of State John Kerry at a meeting in Jerusalem today that as “we just marked the event 34 years ago when the American Embassy was seized and we heard the chants, ‘Death to America,’ we heard that two days ago again in Tehran.”
“This is, I believe, the true face of this regime or the person who controls this regime, the so-called Supreme Leader. I think that this attitude buttressed by a policy of terror worldwide supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, and all the forces that are against peace participating in a mass murder in Syria – I think such a regime must not have the world’s most dangerous weapons,” Netanyahu said in remarks before their meeting.
“We’ve spoken about it many times, and I believe that as long as they continue their goal to enrich uranium to get nuclear weapons, the pressure should be maintained and even increased because they’re increasing enrichment. And I believe that it’s possible, with intense pressure because of the sanctions regime led in large part by the United States, to get Iran to fully dismantle its nuclear weapons program. And that’s really what we’re seeking – a full, peaceful, complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear weapons capability, end of all enrichment, end of all centrifuges, end of the plutonium reactor,” he continued. “If this is achieved, I’d welcome it. I’d be very worried of any partial deals that enable Iran to maintain those capabilities but begin to reduce sanctions because this could have – I think this could undermine the longevity and durability of the sanctions regime.”
Kerry thanked Bibi “for again making time and being here to be part of this really critical process.”
“Our goal is an Iran that has only a peaceful nuclear program, and indeed we must make certain – it is incumbent on us, a responsibility of the world to know with certainty that it is a peaceful program and there is no capacity to produce a weapon of mass destruction. That’s our goal. And as I have said many times, no deal is better than a bad deal. We will not make a bad deal if a deal can be made at all. And we will be pursuing that carefully,” Kerry said before steering into talk of the Mideast peace process.
“We are now three months into this negotiation. There are always difficulties, always tensions. I’m very confident of our ability to work through them. That’s why I’m here. We will spend serious time this morning. I will meet with President Abbas this afternoon. Again this evening, the Prime Minister and I and his team will share a working dinner, and we’ll work as late as it takes. And again tomorrow, I will be here in the region and working on this,” he said.
“So I hope that we will continue in the good faith that brought the parties together in the first place that this can be achieved. With good faith, with a serious effort on both sides to make real compromises and hard decisions, this can be achieved. President Obama sees the road ahead, as do I, and we share a belief in this process or we wouldn’t put this time into it.”
Netanyahu noted that Israel abides “scrupulously by the terms of the agreement and the understanding on which we launched the negotiations.”
“I’m concerned about their progress because I see the Palestinians continuing with incitement, continuing to create artificial crises, continuing to avoid, run away from the historic decisions that are needed to make a genuine peace,” he said.