Susan Rice Plays Down Iran Sanctions Relief
U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Tuesday tried to play down the impact that a limited lifting of economic sanctions would have on Iran.
Rice told CNN that the deal being offered to Iran by the West is "a good one."
Specifically, she said, it will roll back the Iranian nuclear program in key respects over a six-month period while increasing the transparency surrounding the program so that the Iranians "can't sneak out or break out."
Rice noted that what she called the "sanctions architecture" will remain in place so that the relief will be "limited, modest, temporary, and reversible."
She insisted that the amount of Iranian assets that would be unfrozen under the deal would be less than $10 billion.
"We're talking about a modest amount of money," she told CNN.
The interview took place as negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are set to resume on Wednesday in Geneva.
The last round of talks ended without a deal after France presented a tougher position than its Western counterparts.
Rice said last week that the first phase of the deal being offered to Iran would involve six months of halting progress on Iran’s nuclear program and beginning to roll it back, while the U.S. would offer “limited, temporary and reversible economic relief” that leaves the “architecture of sanctions wholly in place.”
Israel has repeatedly warned against the deal being offered to Iran. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and many of his Cabinet ministers have noted that the deal allows Iran to get sanctions relief without it giving back to the West.
Israel’s warnings have resulted in a public war of words between Israel and America. On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Israel has "every right" to voice opposition to a potential nuclear deal with Iran but declared that Netanyahu’s fears were unfounded.
On Tuesday, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett told Arutz Sheva that a "good deal" with Tehran would dismantle Iran's entire “nuclear weapon machine,” while a "bad deal" is one in which “we click the 'pause' button and stop the production for a few months.”
Over the past few days, Bennett has been in the U.S. where he has been speaking with media and congressmen in an effort to exert pressure on the Obama administration not to relax sanctions on Iran unless Iran agrees to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.