Kerry: Israel's security top priority in Iran nuclear talks
John Kerry has assured Israel that the U.S. has its security at the top of its priorities during the nuclear talks with Iran. (AFP/File)
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The United States will stand by Israel’s side when it comes to the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.
Speaking at the annual conference of pro-Israeli lobby group AIPAC in Washington D.C., Kerry said U.S. approach toward Iran is not “trust and verify” but “verify and verify...We will not permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapon. Period."
The top U.S. diplomat said Tehran would be given more sanctions if the talks fail, according to Haaretz.
“Our eyes are wide open. This is not a process that is open-ended,” he said. But he also asserted that President Barack Obama is committed to diplomacy warning about repercussions of a military conflict with Iran.
"Those who say strike and hit need to check what might happen after we do that," he said, adding "Only strong diplomacy can justify more forceful options if we will have to use them."
Kerry added that Washington is trying to get a deal that “gets the job done.”
As talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain -- plus Germany continue, Washington has repeatedly threatened Iran with “other options” on the table, in a clear reference to the war option.
Israel and pro-Israeli lobbies in America are trying to persuade the Obama administration to abandon negotiations which aim to end a decade-long nuclear dispute between the West and Iran.
Iran says its nuclear energy program pursues peaceful purposes only and that it has never been after nuclear military activities. Tehran has opened its doors to UN atomic inspectors who want to visit Iranian nuclear facilities.
Iran and the six world powers already reached an interim deal in Geneva in November, and their negotiation effort continues. They hope to reach a comprehensive deal in the next one year or so.
The next round of the talks between Iran and the six world powers are to be held in Vienna on March 17.