Kerry: Israel Has Every Right to Oppose Iran Deal
U.S. Secretary of State of John Kerry said Monday that Israel has "every right" to voice opposition to a potential nuclear deal with Iran.
At the same time, he told reporters, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s fear that a deal would leave Israel vulnerable is unfounded.
"I have great respect for his concerns about his country," Kerry told reporters at a State Department news conference with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, reported The Associated Press (AP).
Netanyahu, added Kerry, “should express his concerns and he has every right in the world to publicly state his position and defend what he believes is his interest."
The Secretary of State stressed that the United States is deeply committed to Israel's security and sought to assure Netanyahu, ordinary Israelis and pro-Israel members of Congress who are opposed to the proposed agreement.
"Nothing that we are doing here, in my judgment, will put Israel at any additional risk," Kerry declared. "In fact, let me make this clear, we believe it reduces risk."
The comments came in response to Netanyahu’s recent campaign against a deal with Iran.
Netanyahu has repeatedly voiced his opposition to the deal being proposed to Iran, putting him at odds with Kerry and President Barack Obama, who has reportedly refused to accept the Prime Minister’s phone calls in recent days.
Referring to the upcoming resumption of talks in Geneva with Iranian officials in hopes of concluding a deal, Kerry declined to predict if they would reach an agreement.
"I have no specific expectations with respect to the negotiations in Geneva except that we will negotiate in good faith and we will try to get a first-step agreement and hope that Iran will understand the importance of coming there prepared to create a document that can prove to the world that this is a peaceful program," he said, according to AP.
In the same press conference, Kerry said he would not be able to visit Israel over the coming weekend and would try to visit Israel again after the November 28 Thanksgiving holiday.