Emanuel: Thwarting Iran easier with Israeli-Palestinian talks

White House chief of staff reportedly links two issues in meeting with AIPAC donors; comes after Clinton says Israel risks losing Arab support on Iran.

Rahm Emanuel 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Rahm Emanuel 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
The task of forming an international coalition to thwart Iran's nuclear program will be made easier if progress is made in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has said, according to sources in Washington. Israeli TV stations had reported Monday night that Emanuel had actually linked the two matters, saying that the efforts to stop Iran hinged on peace talks with the Palestinians. The remarks were reportedly made in a closed-door meeting previous day with 300 major AIPAC donors on Sunday. Last month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Israel that it risks losing Arab support for combating threats from Iran if it rejects peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Clinton said Arab nations had conditioned helping Israel counter Iran on Jerusalem's commitment to the peace process. Meanwhile, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, former US House speaker Newt Gingrich blasted the Obama administration for setting itself on a collision course with Israel and endangering the Jewish state. He called US President Barack Obama's program of engagement with Iran a "fantasy," and his Middle East policies "very dangerous for Israel." He summed up Obama's approach as "the clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter."