Publishe Date: 5:52 PM - 2/20/2014 | Print

US Official: We Respect Netanyahu, But Won't Always Agree

Politics - A senior US official said following the talks with Iran that Washington respects the Israeli premier, but thinks differently from Benjamin Netanyahu.

"There will not be a written agenda or framework - but we all know what it is and all issues will be on the table," said the official, Haaretz reported.

"This will be a complicated, difficult and lengthy progress but we aim to get the job done in six months," the official said, adding, "While we have much more work to do - we have come some distance in a relatively short time."

The US official echoed his counterparts in calling the dialogue "substantive," and said that specific dates had been set for meetings over the next four months, with another month of negotiations left open on the calendar because "it will be more intense."

The official said that an American delegation would travel to Israel and then to Saudi Arabia over the weekend to brief government officials in those two countries on the talks.

Answering a question about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand that any comprehensive agreement with Iran must include "zero enrichment and zero centrifuges," the US official said, "We respect Netanyahu's statements and it is important to hear what our allies will have to say," adding, "But we are not always going to agree."

As part of the negotiations, the sides have agreed to convene their political directors, alongside Ashton and Zarif, once a month over the course of the next four months. Between each meeting there will be intense meetings of expert working groups related pertaining to each issue individually – the future of uranium enrichments, the heavy water reactors in Arak, and lifting of sanctions

Tags: Israel -
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