Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When Is the Time to Oppose?

From the press conference of John Kerry with Emirati Foreign Minister Abdallah bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 11, 2013:

Question: Mr. Secretary, the Prime Minister of Israel as you know is calling world leaders to marshal opposition to an interim deal with Iran. Other Israeli leaders are rallying Jewish groups who oppose it, and you’re returning to Washington tonight to face a restive Congress. Are you concerned that in this 10-day pause before you reconvene in Geneva that enough opposition will build up that may scuttle the progress you made and make an interim deal impossible?...

SECRETARY KERRY: ...With respect to Prime Minister Netanyahu and his position, yesterday,..He has been very constructive in working on the things we’re trying to do with respect to Middle East peace. I have enormous respect for his political acumen and his deep concerns about the security of his country. We share those concerns.

For 29 years, just a little shy, I spent in the United States Senate, I have a 100 percent voting record of defending Israel. And I’m not about to change my feelings about what we need to do to provide security for Israel going forward, even as I work on this process. But I believe the Prime Minister needs to recognize that no agreement has been reached about the end game here. That’s the subject of the negotiation. The sanctions were put in place in order to bring about a negotiation, because the first order of business of any super power is to exercise its power thoughtfully and respectfully. And if we had to turn to a military option because we are left no other option, we must show the world we have exhausted every possible remedy and opportunity.

Nothing is given up in a first step that freezes the program and even sets it back. While you begin to negotiate to see what is possible with respect to the proving of a peaceful nuclear program. That is the tough negotiation. And Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and all other countries – particularly the P5+1 partners – will be sharing and working that information and process if we get there in an effort to find an agreement that everybody could feel comfortable with. So the time to oppose it is when you see what it is, not to oppose the effort to find out what is possible.

And I would just say very respectfully that what we need to do here is recognize that we’re very knowledgeable about nuclear programs and nuclear possibilities. We share intelligence very closely with the Israelis on this topic. We’ve been meeting constantly with the Israelis to understand exactly Iran is today in its program. And we are confident that what we are doing can actually protect Israel more effectively and provide greater security to Israel. And we look forward to having an ongoing dialogue and conversation in a very civil and appropriate way with the Prime Minister, with our allies and deep friends, the Israelis, in an effort to try to see what can be achieved here.

...whatever might or might not happen in the future is subject to the negotiation and subject to what is possible in terms of limits, scope, verification, complete and total transparency and accountability for what might or might not happen. We don’t know yet what those possibilities are.

So that is why you need to have a negotiation. No one should ever fear a negotiation, because it takes two parties or more, if there are more, to say yes. And until they say yes, there’s no agreement and nothing to fear. So I would say to everybody the President has been clear, there is no rush to a deal, and no deal is better than a bad deal. That is our governing principle. And there may be a difference of opinion in certain people in the end as to what’s bad and what’s good, but this is subject to enormous global scrutiny.

Experts all over the world will look at these judgments and they will decide is this real or is it not real? Does this put somebody at risk or does it not put them at risk. And we much at least trust the process enough to put it to the test. That’s all we are trying to do.

I would suggest there is nio bad time to suggest that the negotiations are going wrong because, who knows, youvmight not be able to backtrack or the length of the ongoing negotiations may be providing Iran with the time to pass the 'no-return' mark.

You don't want us here in Israel to be blinded.

We're not stupid.



Kerry is the perfect instrument of the White House’s desperate policy of fending off calls for real action against Iran. His ego and cluelessness are easily turned against him by the Iranians. His desire to wave the paper agreement in the air is obvious. It is up to Congress, France, Israel and the Sunni Arab states to shake him out of his diplomatic slumber and to alert the world to the dangers of his self-delusion.


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