Kerry: Israel’s security is a top priority in talks with Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a joint press conference with US Secretary Of State John Kerry on December 5, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. [Gali Tibbon/Getty Images]
Click here to add Benjamin Netanyahu as an alert
Disable alert for Benjamin Netanyahu,
Click here to add Department of the Treasury as an alert
Disable alert for Department of the Treasury,
Click here to add Geneva as an alert
Disable alert for Geneva,
Click here to add Jerusalem as an alert
Disable alert for Jerusalem,
Click here to add John Kerry as an alert
Disable alert for John Kerry,
Click here to add Reuters as an alert
Disable alert for Reuters
Israel’s security is a top priority in talks with Iran on its controversial nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said during his Jerusalem visit Thursday.
“I can’t emphasize enough that Israel’s security in this negotiation is at the top of our agenda,” Agence France-Presse quoted Kerry as telling reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He added: “And the United States will do everything in our power to make certain that Iran’s nuclear program of weaponization possibilities is terminated.”
When meeting with Netanyahu, Kerry assured him that the core sanctions against Iran would remain in place despite its interim nuclear deal with world powers.
The sanctions were eased after the deal struck in Geneva last month, to which Israel strongly objected.
“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,” Reuters quoted Kerry as saying.
Speaking earlier, Netanyahu told Kerry “steps must be taken to prevent a further erosion of sanctions.”
Kerry’s remarks were aimed at calming tensions with Israel over the interim deal reached in Geneva on November 24, which saw Iran agree to roll back parts of its nuclear program in return for limited relief from Western sanctions.
The deal was roundly condemned by Netanyahu, who called it a “historic mistake.”
Kerry landed in Israel late on Wednesday for a trip aimed at giving momentum to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which have made little apparent headway since they began under his patronage in late July.
- Trouble in paradise? Israel-U.S. relationship frosting over as Netanyahu attempts to kill nuclear deal
- Kerry: Israel's security top priority in Iran nuclear talks
- Security is top priority for Jafza
- Netanyahu: Easing Iran sanctions would be 'a historic mistake'
- John Kerry arrives in Israel with peace plan on the agenda