Daily Israel Report

Zarif Hits Back at Kerry: Iran Didn't Back Out of the Deal

It was the United States - not Iran - that backed out of a deal in Geneva, charges Iran's foreign minister.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/12/2013, 2:14 AM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday, after Kerry claimed that Iran was the one to have backed out of the deal offered to it during the nuclear talks in Geneva last weekend.

In response, Zarif slammed Kerry, writing on his Twitter account that it was the United States - not Iran - that backed out of the deal.

"Mr. Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of U.S. draft Thursday night? and publicly commented against it Friday morning?" Zarif tweeted.

Earlier on Monday, Kerry, who spoke during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, said "the P5+1 (6 world powers negotiating with Iran) was unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians... But Iran couldn't take it, at that particular moment they weren't able to accept."

The talks ended Saturday, to be restarted in Geneva again November 20.

Kerry's assessment of Iranian responsibility conflicted with earlier Iranian accusations that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was the one who blocked the deal. 

Republican lawmakers in the U.S., foremost among them Senator John McCain, on Sunday praised France for preventing a bad deal with Iran.

Israel has been warning against a deal with Iran that would see some of the sanctions on it being lifted.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated on Monday that preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons was an important goal of Israeli foreign policy, adding the government would do everything necessary to achieve this goal.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also urged caution while talking with Iran, saying,  “We believe a good agreement with Iran will be good for the whole world, and not just for Israel. Reducing the sanctions against Iran will enable Iran to remain as a state on the verge of being able to produce nuclear weapons.”