Mon Nov 4, 2013 11:31AM
Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman

Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman

The US chief nuclear negotiator has reassured Israel that Washington will consult with Tel Aviv about any deal the world powers reach with Iran over its nuclear program. “Whatever agreement we reach, Israel will know about, understand and consulted with us on, because Israel’s security is bedrock and there is no closer security relationship than what we have with each other,” Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman told Israel’s Channel 10 on Sunday. Sherman’s comments reflect a soothing tone adopted by other US officials toward Israel which is opposed to diplomacy with Iran and is increasingly agitated about the prospect of closer ties between Washington and Tehran. Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US - plus Germany held two days of negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 15-16. The two sides have agreed to meet again in the Swiss city on November 7-8. Sherman noted that the latest round of diplomacy showed “for the first time a serious and substantive negotiation,” but refused to disclose details of the talks. The US chief nuclear negotiator said that Washington has yet to decide whether to ease some of the sanctions imposed on Tehran over its nuclear energy program. Addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments that Israel would launch a unilateral military offensive against Iran if necessary, Sherman noted that the best resolution to the nuclear standoff was “a peaceful negotiated solution.” “Israel knows as well as any country, if not better than any country, the cost of war, the cost of military action,” she said. Netanyahu has repeatedly called on Washington to use tightened sanctions and the threat of military force against Tehran until it dismantles its uranium enrichment program. The US, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program. Tehran strongly rejects the accusation as politically motivated, insisting its nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes. HJ/HJ
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