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November 14, 2013 11:20 am

Israeli Minister Erdan ‘Astounded’ by Kerry Remarks

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Israeli Minister Gilad Erdan. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

Israel’s Home Front Defense and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan struck back at John Kerry Thursday, further highlighting the widening gap between the U.S. and Israel when it comes to nuclear talks with Iran.

Erdan told an audience at a security conference in Tel Aviv that he was “astounded” by Kerry’s remarks earlier this week that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s objections to a proposed deal between six world powers and Iran was “premature,” as no deal had yet been signed.

“Netanyahu has to understand that no agreement was signed between Iran and the world powers and his adamant objections are premature,” Kerry said.

Erdan responded: “I have not heard such a claim for many years; this is a country that wants to destroy Israel and the conditions that will enable it to carry out its wishes. What do they expect from an Israeli prime minister? Not to cry out when the knife is in the hand, but only when it is across our throat?”

“It is only thanks to the discussion about the terms being discussed in Geneva, behind closed doors, that we have received an additional delay of several days and perhaps even an improvement in the terms of the agreement,” he said. “We must not be mistaken – an interim agreement will be a permanent agreement. All those involved in the agreement must understand that the moment Iran becomes a nuclear threshold state an arms race will begin in the Middle East and regional uncertainty will increase.”



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