US Secretary of State John Kerry says an agreement between Iran and major powers during the upcoming negotiations in Geneva would not put Israel at risk.
“Nothing that we are doing here, in my judgment, will put Israel at any additional risk – in fact, we believe it reduces risk,” Kerry told reporters at a press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Washington on Monday.
“We believe it helps all of us move closer to this goal of achieving a comprehensive agreement,” he added.
The top US diplomat also noted that he had “great respect” for concerns by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The prime minister should express his concerns and he has every right in the world to publicly state his position and defend what he believes is his interest,” Kerry said.
According to Kerry, Washington intends to negotiate in good faith to try to reach a deal with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.
“I have no specific expectations with respect to the negotiation in Geneva except that we will negotiate in good faith and we will try to get a first-step agreement,” he said.
Kerry expressed hope that “Iran will understand the importance of coming there prepared to create a document that can prove to the world this is a peaceful program.”
He also refused to discuss details of a proposal under discussion.
“I am not going to negotiate this in public. We all need to be respectful of each others’ processes here and positions – and so it’s best to leave that negotiation to the negotiating table,” he said.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, Britain, France, Russia and China — plus Germany ended nuclear negotiations without a deal in Geneva, but they are set to meet again on November 20.
On Friday, a senior Obama administration official said a nuclear deal is “quite possible.”
“I don’t know if we will reach an agreement. I think it is quite possible that we can, but there are still tough issues to negotiate,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.