US envoy Shapiro on Iran deal: Israel needs to prepare for the day after congressional vote

"It is not productive for us just to argue...we can still begin to prepare for the day after," Shapiro tells Israel Radio.

August 10, 2015 09:19
2 minute read.
Dan Shapiro


Despite the clear disagreement between the United States and Israel on the Iranian deal, it is in Israel's best interest to begin diplomatic talks with the US in preparation for the day after the congressional vote takes place, said the United States ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, in an interview with Israel Radio on Monday morning.

"We have to accept that there is a clear disagreement between us and maybe we won't succeed in convincing each other," said Shapiro.

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Shapiro said that he had offered to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to start diplomatic talks with the United States regarding the potential aftermath of the Iran deal and that the prime minister still has not agreed to open the line of conversation.

"We offered the prime minister to open diplomatic talks on how we can increase our security cooperation to deal with outcome of the Iranian deal, to discuss what intelligence information we need, to come to an agreement regarding military assistance that may be needed in the next ten years, how can we stop weapons transfers to Hezbollah, what are the military needs of Israel against falling rockets. We can have these conversations all while we disagree on the Iran deal," said the ambassador. "Until now the prime minister hasn't agreed to have these conversations. I believe the time has come."
Iran deal in a nutshell

Shapiro emphasized that "It is not productive for us just to argue...we can still begin to prepare for the day after. We will need to work together to deal with Iran so why not prepare for it."

Netanyahu has come out strongly against the Iranian deal and has said that it is a mistake of historic proportions and that Israel will not be bound by the agreement.

“The more you know about the accord, the more you oppose it,” Netanyahu said during a briefing last week with diplomatic reporters.

Last week in the House of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-California) introduced legislation  that would prevent implementation of the agreement. The resolution of disapproval will see a vote by September 17, the end of a 60-day review period that Congress has to examine the deal.

US President Barack Obama has said he would veto any legislation that undermines the deal, but Congress could override his veto with enough votes.

"We need to be prepared that maybe we wont convince each other but I want to emphasize that despite this disagreement the dedication of the United States to the security of Israel is as strong as ever."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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