Dermer: US, Israel rift over Iran doesn't amount to crisis in relations

Israel's envoy to the US says American diplomatic corps has kept Israel fully apprised on nuclear talks with Tehran.

November 21, 2013 02:43
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Obama meet in New York

Netanyahu Obama 311. (photo credit: Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


WASHINGTON – Israel’s new ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said on Wednesday that the current rift between Israel and the US over Iran’s nuclear program does not amount to a crisis in relations.

Dermer, a confidant of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a former Republican strategist, defended US President Barack Obama in a closed-door session with a bipartisan group of 30 congressmen in the office of the Speaker of the House.

The new ambassador said the US diplomatic corps had kept the Israeli government fully apprised of developments throughout negotiations in Geneva between Iran and the “P5+1” powers – the US, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany – over the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment and plutonium facilities.

“[Dermer] certainly reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself, by itself,” one attendee said. “But he said that when Israel really needs the US, and the president specifically, he has delivered.”

Responding to a series of questions from one Republican concerned with Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security, “Dermer recalled that Obama phoned Netanyahu eight times in four days during the Gaza crisis, and gave Israel 100 percent of what it needed,” the attendee said.

Some of Washington’s most conservative figures, including Michele Bachmann of the Tea Party Caucus, were in attendance at the meeting.

According to the attendee, Dermer reiterated that differences remain between the US and Israel over how best to proceed with Iran, but said that on the day after an interim agreement is reached, “the US-Israel relationship will only be more important than it has been before.”

Israel’s government has warned that a “bad deal” in Geneva would unravel a regime of financial sanctions that took years to build. Netanyahu has advocated for increasing, rather than decreasing sanctions – a position that has been adopted by many members of Congress.

But a public row has ensued after the Obama administration lobbied against a new sanctions bill in Congress, which the president fears would destabilize negotiations.

Iran’s government has warned that progress on the bill would force them to exit the talks.

Dermer began as Israel’s ambassador to Washington this fall, succeeding Michael Oren, who served since 2009.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN