Secretary of State John Kerry has declared that there is “no daylight” between the Israeli leadership and the Obama administration on the issue of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability.
“Israel and the United States absolutely share the same goal here. There is no daylight between us, with respect to what we want to achieve at this point,” Kerry said on ABC News' "This Week" Sunday. “We both want to make it certain Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. And Iran cannot be in a place where they can breakout and suddenly get that nuclear weapon."
Kerry’s claim prompted Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to express his consternation via Twitter using triple question marks:
Kerry’s appraisal of the negotiated deal as preventing Iran from going nuclear stood in stark contrast with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s perception of the agreement. Hours before the Kerry interview, Netanyahu said at the opening of his weekly cabinet meeting that Iran is now closer to nuclear weapons capability.
"Today the world has become much more dangerous because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step to getting the most dangerous weapon in the world,” Netanyahu said.
Other Israeli officials ranging from government ministers to members of Knesset have also expressed their intense aversion for the deal, calling it “dangerous” and ”very bad” with some even comparing it to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s infamous appeasement of Adolf Hitler.
The Israel Matzav blog wrote of Kerry’s “no daylight” comment: “Funny that almost no one in Israel seems to think so....”
“The deal is the beginning and first step. It leads us into the negotiation,” Kerry said on ABC. “So that we guarantee that while we are negotiating for the dismantling, while we are negotiating for the tougher positions, they will not grow their program and their capacity to threaten Israel. Israel will actually gain a larger breathing space in terms of the breakout capacity of Iran. It’s just clear.”
But that was in contrast to Netanyahu, who said Sunday: “What was accomplished last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement; it’s a historic mistake.”
Not only did the prime minister directly dispute Kerry’s assurances that the deal would make Israel and other U.S. allies safer, Netanyahu’s assessment refuted President Barack Obama’s estimation that the deal would open “a new path toward a world that is more secure.”
Fueling the ire in Israel are new reports that Obama personally approved secret face-to-face negotiations with the Islamic Republic for a year behind the backs of Israel and other American allies.
Here is the excerpt from Kerry’s interview on ABC: