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Susan Rice reassures Israel on Iran nuclear ambitions
Published Friday 09/05/2014 (updated) 10/05/2014 20:31
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US National Security Advisor Susan Rice smiles in the West Bank city
of Ramallah on May 8, 2014 (Pool/AFP Mohamad Torokman)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- US National Security Adviser Susan Rice assured Israel at high-level talks on Thursday that Washington remained determined to stop Iran developing nuclear arms, the White House said.

"The US delegation reaffirmed our commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," said a White House statement released after talks in Jerusalem between Rice, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior officials from both sides.

"The delegations held thorough consultations on all aspects of the challenge posed by Iran, and pledged to continue the unprecedented coordination between the United States and Israel," it added.

Earlier, Netanyahu said the best defense against a nuclear Iran was to block it from developing such a weapon in the first place and he referred to a new round of talks between Tehran and world powers due to open next week in Vienna.

"The most important thing is that Iran does not attain the ability to develop a nuclear weapon, and that needs to be and must be the ultimate and most important goal of the current negotiations with Iran," he said.

"That needs to be the object of the talks, that is Israel's position, that needs to be the position of everyone who really wants to prevent the renewed threat of mass destruction by a radical regime," Netanyahu said at a ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of the allied defeat of Nazi Germany.

The White House statement said the Israeli-US talks Thursday also dealt with "other critical regional and bilateral issues," without elaborating.

"The delegations shared views candidly and intensively, in the spirit of the extraordinary and unprecedented security cooperation between our two countries," it said.

It was Rice's first trip to Israel since she took office last July and it came shortly after the collapse of US-brokered Middle East peace talks.

The White House is assessing whether to try to salvage its Middle East peace efforts after the collapse in late April of nine months of US-brokered negotiations vigorously promoted by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Netanyahu suspended negotiations after the Palestine Liberation Organisation, dominated by Abbas' Fatah movement, struck a reconciliation deal with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

'Catch 22'

"Netanyahu is in a 'Catch 22' situation," senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath told a convention of the Israeli leftist party Meretz in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening.

"Before the reconciliation with Hamas, (the Israelis) argued that Fatah had no control over Hamas and therefore didn't represent all of the Palestinian people," he said.

"After the agreement with Hamas, they say we made a deal with a terror organisation."

Rice met for dinner late Thursday with President Mahmoud Abbas at his headquarters in Ramallah and said that despite the halt in talks the US remained committed to the process.

"Ambassador Rice underscored that while we have come to a pause in the parties’ talks, the United States believes the only way to achieve lasting peace is through direct negotiations that lead to two viable, independent states living side-by-side in peace and security," another White House statement said after their meeting.

Referring to the Hamas rapprochement: "She reiterated US policy that any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties," the statement said.

Abbas told his guest that the Palestinian people's interest was "to seek the unity of land and people through the implementation of the reconciliation agreement and the formation of a government of independents to prepare free and fair elections," his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement.
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1 ) oscar / St Vincent
09/05/2014 11:24
Jerusalem reported that Netanyahu rejected the American position, arguing that Israel cannot leave its security in the hands of intelligence agencies whose forecasts and evaluations of the past years have often proved inaccurate. “The best defense against a nuclear Iran is to keep a nuclear weapon out of its hands. Tehran needs centrifuges and enriched uranium for the single purpose of building a nuclear weapon. Tehran must be deprived of this capability,” Netanyahu said Thursday.

2 ) Sarah / The Netherlands
09/05/2014 12:16
And will ms. Rise reassures the rest of the world for a group of lunatics ("Israelis") with nukes? No she isn't. "Israelis" are like giving a lunatic arsonist, matches.

3 ) lets talk / real topic
09/05/2014 14:00
Lets look at Stopping israel from practicing APARTHEID...ILLEGAL OCCUPATION. .WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, ORGAN HARVESTING, DRUG RUNNING, ILLEGAL ARMS DEALING, HUMAN TRAFFIC..ETC

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/05/2014 18:00
'Susan Rice reassures Israel on Iran nuclear ambitions.' This is kind of a silly charade. Israel isn't more than mildly concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions per se. The point is to embroil the US in a war with Iran -- on what grounds is secondary.

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/05/2014 18:05
"...any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to ...acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties..." If we applied that to Israel, she'd have to withdraw not merely to the pre-1967 ceasefire lines, but to the 1947 Partition borders (which she accepted), recognize the PA as the government of of Palestine, and offer a right of return with restitution of property to those she expelled. Sounds fair. Sauce for the goose and all that.

6 ) carlos / usa
09/05/2014 20:18
Susan Rice is part of the administration which helped overthrow the democratically elected government of Ukraine. Her administration is backing the Neo Nazis in Ukraine which murdered 40 anti Kiev protesters in Odessa last week. The protesters were shot with guns or beaten to death with baseball bats as they tried to escape the burning inferno set by the NeoNazis. It is interesting to note israel is giving aid to the Neo Nazi regime. Possibly the israelis see a connection between 2 philosophies.

7 ) JoeFattal / USA
09/05/2014 22:35
Israel might not be concerned about Iran nuclear ambitions, and they shouldn't. Neither the US. Iran is not going to nuke anyone, they are not that stupid to risk all what they have after the oust of the Shah to lose everything because they don't believe in the Holocaust or they just want the destruction of Israel. But Israel will use it as an excuse to maintain the status-quo in the in any peace negotiations. Ms. Rice should be concern about the security of her country which is failing.

8 ) Anwar / Qatar
09/05/2014 23:37
#5 - Very fair Colin, very fair.

9 ) Mel / USA
10/05/2014 00:04
Borrrrrring! Ms. 'I love Madeleine Albright' Rice is such a predictable RFID Zio-bot. Cripes,these Brookings "Institution" bots actually get paid to spew this cr*p too! Money for old rope! Maybe she'll"revolve" back to her Fed.Res "deputy dawg" job soon,to waste more US tax bucks! Apply the same logic to occupying Israel,Susan,or shut the front door,on your way out!

10 ) Mel / USA
10/05/2014 00:32
Cont: Excuse me Ms Rice,as a black woman in elitist US circles,with many privileges,would you mind commenting on two policies enacted by Zionists since 1947 &Israel since 1948 i.e. Segregation and Separation(definitive apartheid)of all non-Jews from Jews? How would comapre that with US pre-Civil Rights era & South African apartheid! Please share your feelings on this as a black woman working for,& sympathizing with,a predominately white-rule regime?

11 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/05/2014 18:37
To let's talk #3: 'Lets look at Stopping israel from practicing APARTHEID...ILLEGAL OCCUPATION. .WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, ORGAN HARVESTING, DRUG RUNNING, ILLEGAL ARMS DEALING, HUMAN TRAFFIC..ETC' You can't get a leopard to change its spots. The problem isn't stopping Israel. The problem is Israel. What you cite is just the way she be -- and will always be. There is no good Israel out there, waiting to be realized.

12 ) Colin Wright / USA
11/05/2014 03:00
"...that needs to be the position of everyone who really wants to prevent the renewed threat of mass destruction by a radical regime," One would think Netanyahu was talking about Israel itself. After all, Zionism is indeed indubitably radical, it's certainly repeatedly threatened Iran, it has the means RIGHT NOW to annihilate it, and it's been destroying the Palestinians as a people for sixty six years. There's a real threat here alright.

13 ) Rene / France
11/05/2014 19:30
"threat of mass destruction by a radical regime"...hmm, now who do you suppose that could be? Not Iran, no. Jordan? No. Syria? No. Lebanon or Egypt? No, not really. Who could that be now, hmm?

14 ) Maureen / Australia
11/05/2014 22:26
Susan Rice, smiling through her teeth, cannot disguise the warmonger that she really is!

15 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/05/2014 18:47
To Maureen #14: 'Susan Rice, smiling through her teeth, cannot disguise the warmonger that she really is!' More like lickspittle. She'd be happy to make peace instead -- if those were Israel's orders.
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