Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) opined that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to “contain himself” in his criticism of the Iran nuclear negotiations framework.
Netanyahu did the rounds on CNN, ABC and NBC yesterday to protest the terms of the agreement. He shared that he’s talked with “about two-thirds” of the House and an equal share of the Senate about the next steps.
Feinstein is not a supporter of the Menendez-Kirk sanctions legislation or the Corker-Menendez bill to require congressional approval of a deal, and disagreed with the invitation for Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress a month ago, though she attended.
She told CNN on Sunday that the deal doesn’t threaten the survival of Israel.
“A precondition has to be that there’s going to be a real rededication in the IAEA to do the kind of work that’s going to be necessary to do 24/7, 365 days a year in the various facilities. But I think that, having watched this for a long time and knowing this particular foreign minister, I think this is the best that’s going to get done,” Feinstein said of Iran.
“It’s a framework. It has to be wrapped into a final agreement. There still can be some changes. But I don’t think it’s helpful for Israel to come out and oppose this one opportunity to change a major dynamic, which is downhill, a downhill dynamic in this part of the world.”
Netanyahu, she said, has “said what he’s had to say.”
“And, to be candid with you, this can backfire on him. And I wish that he would contain himself, because he has put out no real alternative, in his speech to the Congress, no real alternative, since then, no real alternative,” Feinstein said.
She said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is “sincere”.
“I believe that this foreign minister and this Iranian president, both of whom are moderates, really want to show that there is another way for Iran, and, therefore, giving up this program is worth it,” the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee continued.
“I believe [Zarif] is sincere. I believe that President Rouhani wants this. And it looks like the supreme leader will be agreeable,” Feinstein added. “Now, having said that, we have got everybody jumping to conclusions in the Congress. This agreement has to be written up into a binding kind of agreement. And that’s the document that we all need to see, the final document.”