U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, have launched a third day of nuclear talks, on the heels of a Tuesday speech by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who spelled out before the U.S. Congress why he believed an Iran nuclear deal would be dangerous for the world.
Kerry and a four-party delegation that included Under Secretary Wendy Sherman and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz exchanged cordial greetings with Zarif and his team as the two sides sat down for talks, Wednesday morning, in the resort city of Montreux, Switzerland.
Heading into the meeting, Zarif was asked by reporters if he was excited about Wednesday’s sessions. He stopped, smiled and shrugged, saying: “Are they exciting? Are we supposed to be excited?”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2015.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2015.
Tuesday in Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said he felt a “profound obligation” to speak out about an issue that he believed threatened the survival of his country. Addressing a joint meeting of Congress, he said an Iran nuclear agreement would be a “bad deal.” It “doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves its path to the bomb,” he said.
On Wednesday, the State Department released in statement in which it took issue with some of the comments that Netanyahu made about Secretary Kerry.
In his speech, Netanyahu said Kerry had “confirmed” that Iran could “legitimately possess” 190,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of a long-term nuclear agreement.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Kerry, in Congressional testimony last month, actually said that if there is a civilian power plant that is “producing power legitimately and not a threat to proliferation, you could have as many as 190,000 or more centrifuges.”
President Barack Obama speaks at the White House about Iran and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, March 3, 2015.President Barack Obama speaks at the White House about Iran and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, March 3, 2015.