A top French envoy arrived in Jerusalem on Tuesday and a British envoy is set to arrive on Wednesday to brief Israeli officials and discuss the next moves following the signing of the nuclear deal signed in Geneva earlier this week.
Jacques Audibert, the top
French negotiator with Iran, arrived in Jerusalem on Tuesday, and his British counterpart Simon Gass is
to arrive for the same purpose on Wednesday.
Among the Israeli officials
they are meeting are Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz and National Security
Adviser Yossi Cohen.
Cohen is expected to lead an Israeli team to
Washington in the coming days to coordinate positions with the US.
arrival of the two European diplomats comes as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
indicated that he wants to actively engage with the P5+1, which will now
negotiate a comprehensive agreement with Iran over the parameters of a possible
comprehensive agreement and what will happen when the interim agreement expires
in six months.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague phoned Steinitz on Tuesday and said he hoped Israel could get behind the interim
agreement and play a “full and constructive” part in the coming months, during
A Channel 2 poll conducted Tuesday night showed that a
majority of Israelis backed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent criticism of the
Obama administration’s Iranian policy, with 58 percent saying the criticism was
justified, and 28% saying it was not.
In addition, most Israelis – 60% –
said that the agreement endangered Israel, while 25% said it did not.
a related development, the country’s security cabinet met for some eight hours
on Tuesday for the annual intelligence assessment given by the Mossad and
Military Intelligence, and though no details were given, much of the meeting was
believed to have focused on Iran.
US President Barack Obama lashed out against critics of the nuclear deal with
Addressing several audiences
on a tour of the West Coast, Obama referred to opponents of the deal as
“blusterous” players on the international stage.
“Huge challenges remain,
but we cannot close the door on diplomacy, and we cannot rule out peaceful
solutions to the world’s problems. We cannot commit ourselves to an
endless cycle of conflict,” Obama said in San Francisco late Monday.
cannot rule out peaceful solutions to the world’s problems. Tough talk
and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it’s not the right
thing for our security.”
Top Republicans and hawkish Democrats have
shared Israel’s criticism of the US and the other five world powers for reaching
an interim agreement with Iran on Sunday.
Members of the US Congress seek
additional sanctions against Iran’s oil sector, should world powers fail to
reach a final agreement with Iran in the next six months – a deadline that was
selfimposed in the interim deal.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki
said on Tuesday that the secretary of state would be “very engaged” with his
former colleagues in the Senate on the issue, but added, “not everything has to
be a showdown.”
Psaki warned against additional legislation for the time
being, saying “it could divide the P5+1,” and that “it could have the opposite
impact of what is intended.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who
schedules markups and votes for bills, as well as Senate Foreign Relations
Committee chairman Robert Menendez have both reacted to the deal with cautious
optimism, and say that any legislation they will consider in December, after the
Thanksgiving holiday, will respect the sixmonth time frame.
that any bill at this time would put the “outcome of the negotiations at risk”
and would violate “the spirit” of the agreement.
An Iranian official said
that the agreement allows his country to trade oil with greater
“Based on this deal, Iran’s crude oil exports will not decline and
our customers will be able to purchase oil from Iran without any anxiety, and
they will not have to look for alternatives,” Ali Majedi, Iran’s deputy minister
for international affairs and trading, told Shana, the oil ministry news
The White House, in its explanation of the deal, published on
Sunday, acknowledged that Iran’s oil markets will be stabilized – but only after
a slash of over 60% in the past two years.
Sanctions relief included in
the interim deal will “allow purchases of Iranian oil to remain at their
currently significantly reduced levels,” the US document reads.
from these sales will be allowed to be transferred in installments if, and as,
Iran fulfills its commitments.”
The short-term nuclear deal reached
between Iran and world powers over the weekend, hailed in political classes
throughout capitals from Moscow to Washington, has been greeted with skepticism
by Wall Street.
Markets expressed doubts, on Tuesday, that the deal could
have significant impact on oil prices in the short term or on the long-term,
The US dollar slipped and oil prices crept up as
pressure remained tight on world share markets.
Brent crude rose 37 cents
to $111.37 a barrel. It plunged as much as $3 on Monday but recouped most of
those losses to end 5 cents down. US crude slipped 16 cents to
$93.93.Reuters contributed to this report.