Kerry sees ‘diplomatic path’ on Iran

Updated 26 February 2013
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Kerry sees ‘diplomatic path’ on Iran

BERLIN: US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted yesterday there was a “diplomatic path” to be forged with Iran on its disputed nuclear program, as world powers and Tehran held crunch talks.
“There is a diplomatic path,” said Kerry after meeting his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle in Berlin. He expressed his “hope” that “Iran itself will make its choice to move down the path of a diplomatic solution.”
The five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany — the so-called P5+1 — are meeting the Iranian team headed by top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Kazakhstan in a bid to break the deadlock over Iran’s program.
Kerry said it “would really be a mistake in the middle of the talks for me to try to talk at any length about what the dynamics of those talks are.”
“I want these talks to have their chance to work through before I comment,” added the secretary.
Nevertheless, he urged Tehran to accept the offer of western powers, saying they included “reciprocal measures that encourage Iran to make concrete steps in order to begin addressing the international community’s concerns.”
The world powers are offering Iran permission to resume its gold and precious metals trade as well as some international banking activity which are currently under sanctions, Western officials told AFP.


Israel defense minister vows to strike any Iran ‘military foothold’ in Syria

Updated 28 min 11 sec ago
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Israel defense minister vows to strike any Iran ‘military foothold’ in Syria

  • Israel defense minister vowed to strike if Israel was attacked by Iran
  • Lieberman visited Washington to meet US National Security Adviser John Bolton about 'Iranian expansionism'

JERUSALEM: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed in an interview Thursday to strike at any attempt by Iran to establish a “military foothold” in Syria, following an attack this month attributed to his country.
Speaking with a news website run by a Saudi businessman that regularly interviews Israeli officials, Lieberman also threatened firm retaliation if Israel was attacked by Iran.
“If they attack Tel Aviv, we’ll strike Tehran,” he told the Elaph website.
The comments came as Lieberman visited Washington to meet US National Security Adviser John Bolton and other officials to discuss what his office called Iran’s “expansion” in the Middle East.
“We don’t intervene in the war, don’t fight there, but Iran is trying to establish bases there and attack us from there with advanced arms it brings to them,” Lieberman said of neighboring Syria.
“I can’t stand by when I see Iran do that close to the Golan, and when it supports Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon, and tries to establish a foothold in Syria in order to attack Israel.”
He added that “any site in which we see an Iranian attempt to achieve a military foothold in Syria will be struck. We won’t let that happen, regardless of the price.”
On April 9, seven Iranian personnel were among 14 people killed in a strike on the T-4 air base in Syria, with regime allies Iran and Russia blaming Israel for the attack.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility, but has repeatedly said it cannot accept Iran establishing itself militarily in Syria.
Lieberman’s visit to Washington comes ahead of a May 12 deadline US President Donald Trump has set to decide on the fate of a nuclear deal with Iran.
Israeli leaders have repeatedly called for the deal to be scrapped or improved, though others say it is working as intended to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for the time being.