US Secretary of State John Kerry, during a closed-door briefing on Iran with the Senate Banking Committee, told Republican senators to “ignore anything the Israelis say,” according to the New York-based Buzzfeed news website, which was widely circulated in Israeli media.
Details of the meeting were provided by news sites worldwide.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been focusing on preventing a “very bad deal” between Iran and the P5+1, according to which sanctions against the Islamic Republic would be removed. Any deal that would allow the Islamic Republic to maintain even a residual capacity to enrich uranium is extremely dangerous not only to Israel, but to the global community, the Israeli leader warned. On this issue, Israeli politicians across the political spectrum are united.
“Every time anybody would say anything about what would the Israelis say, they’d get cut off and Kerry would say, ‘You have to ignore what they’re telling you. Stop listening to the Israelis on this,’”Sen. Bob Corker said, as reported in Buzzfeed.
Kerry, who was presenting the case against new sanctions, argued that a unilateral move to raise sanctions would “break faith” and convince Iran to end the negotiations.
He was accompanied by American Vice-President Joe Biden and top US nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman, among other officials.
Kerry told lawmakers who disagreed with him to “calm down,” a source told Buzzfeed.
“It was an emotional appeal,” Corker said. “I have to tell you, I was very disappointed in the presentation.”
No details of the interim deal in the current negotiations with Iran were provided, Corker told Buzzfeed. “I am stunned that in a classified setting when you’re trying to talk to the very folks that would be originating legislation relative to sanctions, to have such a lack of specificity — I feel I may get that over the next 24 hours in another setting, but it was solely an emotional appeal,” he stated.
The presentation was “very unconvincing,” Sen. Mark Kirk concurred, according to the report. Furthermore, “It was fairly anti-Israel. I was supposed to disbelieve everything the Israelis had just told me, and I think the Israelis probably have a pretty good intelligence service.”
“How do you define an Iranian moderate? An Iranian who is out of bullets and out of money,” he said.
Sherman was part of the U.S. negotiating team that focused on North Korea in the 1990s.
Kirk criticized Sherman, whose “record on North Korea is a total failure and embarrassment to her service,” Buzzfeed reported. “Wendy wants you to forget her service on North Korea. You shouldn’t allow her.”
“A nuclear-armed Iran would be as dangerous as 50 North Koreas,” Netanyahu had asserted, stressing that “a bad deal is liable to lead to the second, undesired, result,” meaning regional war.
Kirk, according to Buzzfeed, compared the US administration to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who signed away the Sudetenland to Hitler’s Germany in 1938, a year before the outbreak of World War II.
“Today is the day I witnessed the future of nuclear war in the Middle East,” Kirk reportedly declared.
Author: Atara Beck, Staff Writer for United with Israel
Date: Nov. 13, 2013