Likud minister Steinitz slams Kerry's remarks on Iran as 'unacceptable'

After cascade of Israeli criticism over US secretary of state's comments on peace process, Steinitz takes aim at his Iran policy.

By REUTERS
April 14, 2014 11:07
1 minute read.
Yuval Steinitz‏

Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz‏. (photo credit: INSS)

 
X

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 analyses 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 uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) described as "unacceptable" on Monday remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry suggesting cautious openness to negotiating a nuclear deal that would keep Iran six to 12 months away from bomb-making capability.

"In the past, and also recently, what we heard from the Americans, including publicly, and from the Europeans and even from the Russians, was that Iran must be distanced years - not months but years - from nuclear weaponry," said Steinitz.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Iran, which denies seeking nuclear arms, is in talks with Washington and five other world powers on rolling back its work on uranium enrichment and a potentially plutonium-yielding reactor.

Briefing US senators last week, Kerry stopped short of saying negotiators would "settle for" a timeline of six to 12 months in which Iran could amass enough fissile material for a nuclear device but said it would be "significantly more" than the current two months it would take.

"The things that Kerry said ... are worrying. They are surprising. They are not acceptable," Steinitz told Israel Radio.

The Israelis, widely assumed to have the Middle East's sole atomic arsenal, see Tehran's nuclear program as a deadly threat and have long threatened to launch pre-emptive war against Iran if they deem international diplomacy a dead end.

The censure of Kerry's remarks follows a cascade of Israeli criticism of the US statesman's mediation of peace talks with the Palestinians, which are now deadlocked.



"We will not be able to adopt and accept any agreement that keeps Iran within a range of months to a year from nuclear weaponry, because such an agreement would not hold water," Steinitz said, reiterating Israel's demand that its arch-enemy be stripped of nuclear capabilities.

"It would also prompt Iran to get nuclear weaponry, and Sunni Arab countries like Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, perhaps also Turkey and the UAE, to seek to launch a nuclear arms race."

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations

By YONAH JEREMY BOB