Negotiations with Iran are still on the table, according to a press conference given by White House Spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday.
The day after Israel’s navy blocked a shipment of lethal arms from Iran en route to Gaza for terror purposes, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated at a press conference that negotiations with Iran are still on the table.
“We continue to have enormous issues with Iran, its sponsorship of terrorist organizations, its bad behavior in the region that manifests itself in many ways. And we continue to take all the necessary steps to address those challenges. But it’s entirely appropriate to continue to pursue the possibility of reaching a resolution on the nuclear program,” Carney said.
The White House spokesperson confirmed earlier reports that Washington had been aware of the Iranian shipment of M-32 rockets from Damascus to Gaza, adding that America’s “Israeli counterparts” took the lead in thwarting the activity. However, Carney did not explain why it was Israel, and not the U.S., that did the job.
On Tuesday, while praising the Israel Defense Forces for its successful interception of the deadly Iranian cargo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who was in the U.S. for meetings with the American administration on the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and the Iranian nuclear threat and to address the annual AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) Policy Conference – vowed that he will do everything necessary to defend the security of the Jewish state.
“At a time when it is talking to the major powers, Iran smiles and says all sorts of nice things, the same Iran is sending deadly weapons to terrorist organizations…that will be used to harm innocent citizens. This is the true Iran and this state cannot possess nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu declared.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH IRAN CONTINUE DESPITE ‘ILLICIT ACTIONS’
Carney told reporters that “even as we continue efforts to resolve our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program through diplomacy, we will continue to stand up to Iran’s support for destabilizing activities in the region, in coordination with our partners and allies, and [we] made clear that these illicit actions are unacceptable to the international community and in gross violation of Iran’s UN Security Council obligations.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the Islamic Republic’s involvement in the murderous arms shipment, mockingly commenting on Twitter:
“An Iranian ship carrying arms for Gaza. Captured just in time for annual AIPAC anti-Iran campaign. Amazing Coincidence! Or same failed lies.”
Despite Iran’s signature on the captured weapons, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian told media that any claims of Iranian involvement were “baseless and false.”
The Hamas terror organization, to which the weapons shipment was headed, also denied the facts, saying the story was fabricated in order to justify Israel’s “siege” on Gaza.
Israeli President Shimon Peres, in an interview Thursday with Panet, the leading website for the young-adult Arab-Israeli community, stated:
“I don’t understand why the Iranians continue to do this. Do we need more weapons and more bloodshed in the Middle East? Gaza needs development and infrastructure, not weapons. If Hamas continues to fire missiles from Gaza, we will be forced to respond strongly. What do they stand to gain from it? Nothing! Terrorism brought nothing aside from destruction and division. My opinion on the situation in Gaza is clear – if the terror from Gaza stops then there will be no need for a naval blockade. We have no interest in seeing the people of Gaza suffer, we want to see Gaza developing and prosperous. But instead they invest millions in arms, why? Israel acquiesces to requests from Gaza – we transfer fuel when there is a shortage and have expanded the fishing zone.”
Author: Atara Beck, Staff Writer, United with Israel
Date: Mar. 6, 2014