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      White House 'Understand's Israeli Skepticism on Iran'

      Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary responds to Netanyahu's warnings to Iran at the UN.
      By Adam Ross
      First Publish: 10/2/2013, 10:54 AM

      Following the speech made by Binyamin Netanyahu to the United Nations General Assembly, White House Spokesman Jay Carney has said in a press briefing, that the US administration understands Israeli fears as it attempts a rapprochement with the Islamic regime.

      “We’ve said all along, as the president has said, we understand, and it is entirely justifiable, that Israel is skeptical about Iran and Iran’s intentions,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "after all, this is a country whose leadership, until recently, was pledging to annihilate Israel.”

      Turning to Netanyahu's description of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's recent moderate overtures as a ruse, Carney added: "We share with Israel and with Prime Minister Netanyahu the same goal and the same firm policy, which is, Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.”  

      He continued: “Yesterday’s meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama represented just the latest in a series of meetings and conversations that the president has had, the two leaders have had, in which this issue has been a topic of conversation.”

      “As the president has said, it’s understandable why Israel has concerns about Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” he said. “In Israel, obviously, the concerns are more intense because of the neighborhood they live in and because of the threats that previous leaders of Iran have made towards Israel.”

      Despite the reasons to be cynical, Carney said the US administration had decided to give Iran a chance.

      “What we have said is that there is a window of opportunity to resolve this diplomatically,” he said. “Resolving it diplomatically is preferable, as a general matter… And as long as that window is open… we ought to pursue that. And that’s what the president is doing.”

      Meanwhile, elsewhere in the US, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's forceful speech in the United Nations Tuesday, has ruffled some feathers, with the influential New York Times calling the speech "aggressive," in a front page editorial, also noting that Netanyahu used "sarcasm" and "combative words" to portray Iran's president Hassan Rouhani as a "charlatan."

      In his speech, Netanyahu did not rule out a diplomatic solution to the Iranian threat, but said that diplomacy can only work if the international community takes a firm stance. “We all want to give diplomacy with Iran a chance to succeed,” he said. “But when it comes to Iran, the greater the pressure, the greater the chance.”

      “History has taught us that to prevent war tomorrow, we must be firm today,” he noted.

      “Iran’s fanaticism is not bluster. It’s real. This fanatical regime must not be allowed to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” he warned, adding that "If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone."