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Regular consultation with Israel on Iran: US

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 12:52

Washington: The US regularly consults Israel on issues related to Iran, the White House has said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he talks with the Israeli Prime Minister several times a week.

"We talked over the weekend. We discussed timing and what may occur. I may not be able to get to -- it looks as if I probably will not be able to get there over the course of this weekend, but I am committed to going in order to engage in the ongoing discussions that we are currently engaged in shortly after the Thanksgiving break, as soon as we can work out the timing," he said.

When asked about criticism of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin

Netanyahu, of America`s policy towards Iran, Kerry said, "I have great respect for his concerns about his country".

"The Prime Minister should express his concerns, and he has every right in the world to publicly state his position and defend what he perceives as his interests. We believe deeply in our commitment to Israel," he told reporters in a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart.

"I have a long voting record, 100 per cent record of support for our friends in Israel. I can assure those friends and everybody else watching this that nothing that we are doing here, in my judgement, will put Israel at any additional risk.

In fact, let me make this clear:? We believe it reduces risk. We believe it helps all of us to move closer to this goal of achieving the comprehensive agreement that I talked about earlier," he said in response to a question.

"And that`s a priority for me and it doesn`t change. We remain deeply committed to this ongoing dialogue, to our friendship, and we intend to consult frequently and deeply about everything that we are engaged in," Kerry said.

"We consult with the Israelis regularly. We share a significant amount of information on a variety of issues, but Iran is certainly one of them," White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.

"Our commitment to Israel`s defence is unshakable, and that is as true today as it`s been every day that President Obama has been in office and has overseen a policy that has provided, I think, even in the views of many Israeli leaders, the most tangible evidence of that commitment to Israel`s security that they`ve ever seen," he said in response to a question.

"So that remains our policy. That remains our position. And we
are going about this with our P5-plus-1 partners in a way that ensures that any steps we take will require transparency and the ability to verify concrete steps by the Iranians," he said.

"If in the end they demonstrate that they are not willing to take the concrete steps necessary to prove to the world that they`re giving up their nuclear weapons ambitions, then there`s no deal. Simple as that," Carney said responding to questions on the criticism of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, of America`s policy towards Iran.

"I think the (Israeli) Prime Minister...Believes that we should explore whether or not this can be resolved peacefully. That is obviously a preference for everyone. And it is our view that the process we have in place with the P5-plus-1 is the best way to explore that possibility, as we leave all options on the table; as we make clear that President Obama will not, as a matter of policy, allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Achieving that goal is best done peacefully if that`s possible," he said.

First Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 12:52

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