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Rivlin: We Can’t Afford to Fight with America

Former Knesset speaker warns against open conflict with the US position on Iran.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/10/2013, 5:51 PM

Speaker Reuven Rivlin
Speaker Reuven Rivlin
Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud), the former Knesset Speaker, expressed grave concern Sunday over the Netanyahu administration’s open criticism of talks between the United States and Iran.

“We must not contradict the United States regarding the deal with Iran,” Rivlin wrote in a post to his Facebook page. “A conflict with the United States is against Israel’s vital interests.”

“Even though this is an existentially important matter, the dialogue with the Americans must take place in secret, bilateral forums,” he urged.

“Of course there can be situations where allies agree to disagree. But it all needs to happen in the context of the special relationship between Israel and the United States – in Congress, in the Senate and in the White House,” Rivlin continued.

“We need to remember that Israel is an American interest, and that we must not undermine America’s commitment to us,” he warned.

Rivlin took care to emphasize that he is not opposed to sharing differences of opinion. “Just as we expect them to tell us the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so too they look to us to tell it like it is, despite serious difference of opinion when it comes to Iran and to the Palestinian issue,” he noted.

Netanyahu warned Sunday that the deal Western powers are considering striking with Iran is “bad and dangerous.”

In a public statement to his cabinet, Netanyahu argued that the proposed deal endangers world peace by removing the threat of sanctions against Iran, while effectively leaving Iran with the ability to enrich uranium.