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Israeli officials admit failure to prevent deal with Iran

February 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Israel has failed to undermine a deal between Iran and the world powers regarding its nuclear programme, a senior Israeli official told a local newspaper on Monday. Another official criticised Israel’s rhetorical conflict with the US, telling Yedioth Ahronoth that criticism of the US secretary of state is damaging. “John Kerry is not Israel’s enemy,” he said.

If events turn out as expected, an agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme could be signed between Iran and the world powers, led by the USA, in Geneva on Wednesday. If that happens, sanctions against Iran will be eased and billions of dollars in assets will be unfrozen, giving Iran’s ailing economy a much-needed boost.

According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the senior Israeli officials “admitted” that diplomatic efforts by Israel to prevent the agreement with Iran have been “unsuccessful”.

“We are at least taking comfort in the fact that there may be some amendments compared to the previous agreement which was not signed,” said one.

Meanwhile, Kerry said that the expected agreement would be useful for Israel; if it does not remove the threat it at least reduces it.

“I have great respect for his [Netanyahu’s] concerns about his country,” said the secretary of state. “He should express his concerns and he has every right in the world to state his position publicly and defend what he believes is his interest.”

Regarding the possibility that there will be an agreement on Wednesday, Kerry added, “I have no specific expectations with respect to the negotiations in Geneva except that we will negotiate in good faith and we will try to get a first-step agreement.”