U.S. Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said that the United States is committed to reaching a final agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program. The hope is that come July, a nuclear accord will be signed and sealed between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1.
Speaking from Jerusalem, Sherman maintained that success could only be measured if “Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon and that the international community will have assurance in the exclusively peaceful nature of a nuclear program in Iran.”
Sherman reiterated that the United States was maintain a realistic stance when it comes to a nuclear Iran. “I would like there to be zero enrichment. I would like there to be no facilities, I would like there not be an indigenous program,” she said. “I would like many things in life. But that does not mean I will get them.”
Sherman, who flew directly to Israel after the latest rounds of negotiations in Vienna, told reporters that the U.S. and world powers were undergoing “tough negotiations” with Iran which are expected to last until July.
“We have set a framework and a timetable for the negotiations, but this is a very complex negotiation and I very much look forward to the talks I will have here in Israel,” she said.
The Undersecretary is in Israel to confer with Israeli leaders regarding the ongoing negotiations. Sherman conveyed her gratitude for the “input, ideas, and point of view” she has received regarding a nuclear Iran. However, Israel and the United States do not always see eye to eye on the issue.
“Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t agree, but what is critical is to have that input as we move forward to ensure the security of Israel and the security of the United States and the security of the world,” Sherman expressed.
At the start of weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his reservations about the ongoing negotiations.
“I view with concern that fact that Iran believes that it will realize its plan to be a nuclear threshold state, with an enrichment capacity that it thinks cannot be touched, with the ability to develop both nuclear weapons and inter-continental missiles, which it is continuing to work on unhindered,” Netanyahu said.
“This combination of enrichment, weapons and launch capabilities, says that Iran is, in effect, receiving everything and giving almost nothing. This is the current situation. The permanent agreement cannot render this situation permanent. It must dismantle the Iranian ability to either produce or launch nuclear weapons, and this has yet to be achieved, and without the insistence of the major powers it will not be achieved,” warned Netanyahu.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who was on a visit to the Golan Heights yesterday, stated that Israel was working overtime to ensure that its borders remain safe. “Each and every one of our fronts is in a tense state right now,” he explained. “Quiet, I would say, yet tense, everyday.”
Gantz specifically pointed out Iran’s role in providing weapons to terrorists in Gaza and Lebanon that are being used against Israel.
According to Gantz, Iran “is handing out torches to pyromaniacs” and that the Islamic Republic is “providing its surrogates with ammunition, rockets, and is heavily involving itself in the fighting.”
The next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 will reconvene in Vienna on March 17.