Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to cut some serious nuclear slack to Obama's newest best friend Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. As the Wall Street Journal reported this week:
GENEVA—Iran and world powers expect to announce an initial deal as early as Friday to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions, a step that would mark the first breakthrough in a decade to blunt the threat of Tehran developing nuclear weapons.
Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius are traveling to Geneva Friday to complete the deal. President Barack Obama described the emerging agreement Thursday in an interview with NBC News, saying that if Iran doesn't live up to its end, "we can crank that dial back up" on sanctions.
That news drew a quick and unmistakable rebuke from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. From the Jerusalem Post:
"Israel understands that there are proposals on the table in Geneva today that would ease the pressure on Iran for concessions that are not concessions at all. This proposal would allow Iran to retain the capabilities to make nuclear weapons," he said during a speech to the Jewish Agency.
"This proposal will allow Iran to preserve its ability to build a nuclear weapon. Israel is completely opposed to these proposals. I believe that adopting them would be a mistake of historic proportions and they should be completely rejected," he (Netanyahu) said.
All of which has led to the latest report that Netanyahu is in "shock" over the possible Iranian deal, and a looming "crisis in Israeli- U.S. relations." From yesterday's Washington Times:
JERUSALEM — A pair of testy public exchanges this week appear to have undone whatever good will was created between the Israeli and U.S. governments during a high-profile visit by President Obama early this year.
Tensions burst into the open during a swing through the region by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
In an interview broadcast on both Israeli and Palestinian TV,Kerry questioned Israel’s seriousness about peace with the Palestinians. Hours later Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired back, vowing not to cave into concessions to the Palestinians — and also saying he “utterly rejects” an emerging nuclear deal between world powers andIran...
“If there were a synoptic map for diplomatic storms, theNational Weather Servicewould be putting out a hurricane warning right now,” diplomatic correspondentChemi Shalevwrote on the website of the newspaperHaaretz. “And given that the turbulence is being caused by an issue long deemed to be critical toIsrael’s very existence, we may actually be facing a rare Category 5 flare up, a ‘superstorm’ of U.S.-Israeli relations.”