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Kerry Tries to Pacify Israel Worries   05/03 14:16

   U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought to pacify Israeli worries over an 
emerging nuclear deal with Iran in an interview aired Sunday, dismissing some 
concerns as brought on by "hysteria" over the possible agreement.

   JERUSALEM (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought to pacify 
Israeli worries over an emerging nuclear deal with Iran in an interview aired 
Sunday, dismissing some concerns as brought on by "hysteria" over the possible 
agreement.

   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been one of the harshest 
critics the U.S.-led framework deal with the Islamic Republic, which offers it 
sanctions relief in exchange for scaling back its contested nuclear program.

   Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran an existential threat, citing hostile 
Iranian rhetoric toward the Jewish state, Iran's missile capabilities and its 
support for violent militant groups. Iran says its nuclear program is for 
peaceful purposes.

   Speaking to Israel's Channel 10 television, Kerry said the deal wouldn't 
affect American options to counter any possible effort by Iran to build atomic 
weapons.

   "I say to every Israeli that today we have the ability to stop them if they 
decided to move quickly to a bomb and I absolutely guarantee that in the future 
we will have the ability to know what they are doing so that we can still stop 
them if they decided to move to a bomb," Kerry said.

   Netanyahu believes the potential deal leaves intact too much of Iran's 
contested nuclear program, including research facilities and advanced 
centrifuges capable of enriching uranium, a key ingredient in building an 
atomic bomb.

   "We will have inspectors in there every single day; that is not a 10-year 
deal that is forever," Kerry said. "There is a lot of hysteria about this deal."

   Netanyahu's criticism has contributed to rising tensions between him and 
President Barack Obama.

   "We think there needs to be a different deal, a better deal, and there are 
those that tell us this won't endanger Israel," Netanyahu said Sunday during a 
visit by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. "I must say as prime minister of 
Israel, who is responsible for Israel's security --- this does endanger Israel."


(KA)


 
 
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