Kerry Warns Netanyahu: Don’t Reveal Iran Deal Details

March 2, 2015  

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday warned Israel’s prime minister against revealing details at his upcoming speech to the US Congress of an Iran nuclear deal that world powers are currently negotiating.

While he did not mention Binyamin Netanyahu by name, Kerry told reporters in Geneva he was “concerned by reports” that “selective details” of the deal would be revealed, after an Israeli official said the Jewish state knew about the emerging agreement and that the prime minister would elaborate in his congressional address.

“The best way to deal with the question surrounding this nuclear program is to find a comprehensive deal, but not a deal which comes at any costs,” he told reporters.  

“We have made some progress, but we still have a long way to go, and the clock is ticking.”

Obama’s administration has mobilized to counter Netanyahu’s diplomatic offensive.  

Washington’s United Nations envoy Samantha Power and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, will also address the 16,000 AIPAC delegates.  

A member of Netanyahu’s entourage told journalists traveling with him on Sunday that the Israeli leader had not intended to offend Obama.  

“We are trying to explain to the Americans what is causing us concern,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“We know a great deal about the emerging agreement… In our view, it is a bad agreement.”

The official would not indicate the source of the “excellent information” Israelis have about the deal between the Islamic republic and the so-called P5+1 group that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

But he said Netanyahu would elaborate in his congressional address.

Israel worries that Iran and world powers will likely clinch a deal that eases sanctions without applying sufficiently stringent safeguards.

Also on Monday, Kerry staunchly defended Israel at the annual session of the United Nations Human Rights Cancel, despite the ongoing tensions between the US and Israel.

“The HCR’s obsession with Israel risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization,” Kerry said Monday at the opening of the main annual session of the council. 

“We will oppose any group within the UN system (attempting) to regularly and arbitrarily de-legitimize Israel,” he said.

Calling the council’s record on Israel “deeply concerning,” he said “no country on earth should be free from scrutiny, but neither should any country be (subjected) to bias”.

His defense comes at a time when relations between the US and Israel have been noticeably chilly. One reason for this is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s attempts to dissuade the Obama administration from a making a deal with Iran on its nuclear program. 

Netanyahu is currently in the United States and will address the US Congress on Tuesday at the invitation of House Speaker, Republican John Boehner. 

Kerry, meanwhile, is due to hold talks later Monday with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux.

After years of on-off negotiations, experts say global powers appear to be closing in on a deal that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

But Israel believes that Iran and world powers will clinch a troublesome deal that eases sanctions on Tehran without applying sufficiently stringent safeguards.

“We’re looking at a very bad deal indeed. A disastrous deal that we have to do everything in our power to prevent,” Economics Minister Bennett told Arutz Sheva after addressing the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington Monday.

Under the deal currently on the table between Iran and the so-called P5+1 powers, “Iran will legally be able to acquire a nuclear weapon,” Bennett warned. “It gets a definitive path to the weapon.”

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