Daily Israel Report

Israel, U.S. Spar Over 'Red Lines' for Iran

Israel responds to Clinton's remarks about setting red lines for Iran, and Clinton's spokeswoman responds to Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/10/2012, 11:45 PM

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
Reuters

Israel and the United States sparred on Monday over remarks made by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about setting “red lines” for Iran regarding its nuclear program.

Israel was not thrilled with Clinton’s remarks that the Obama administration has no “deadline” for Iran.

She told Bloomberg Radio that negotiations still are “by far the best approach” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an interview with Canadian television Sunday night that Iran “doesn’t see a clear red line from the international community.”

In response, a senior official in Jerusalem said, “Without a clear and firm red line, Iran will not stop its nuclear arms race. Such statements do not stop the Iranian centrifuges, but vice versa. Such statements not only do not deter Iran, they calm it down.”

The State Department later once again distanced Washington from the Israeli stance, with spokeswoman Victoria Nuland telling reporters, “The American people know that the president has said unequivocally he will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

“So, you know, we are absolutely firm about the president's commitment here, but it is not useful to be parsing it, to be setting deadlines one way or the other, red lines,” she added, promising “intensive consultations with Israel.”