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Iran diplomacy better than war, U.S. tells Israel

America says more sanctions are a step in wrong direction as Israel warns of ‘bad deal’ with Tehran

Published: Updated:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against a “bad deal” on Iran’s nuclear program, in comments posted to Twitter on Friday.

But his remarks were met with what appeared to be Washington’s response to the premier.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters later in the day that American administration believes the path proposed by Israel to subdue Iran with sanctions may lead to war and not to a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.

Six world powers are currently negotiating a freeze to Iran’s suspect nuclear program for a new round of talks in Geneva.

Last week, the previous round of talks failed to seal a first step deal which would halt Iran’s program in return for relief from crippling sanctions while all sides negotiate a final deal over the next six months.

“I think we're looking at multiple tracks here, including our continued pursuit of seeing whether a diplomatic path is possible. The alternative in our view is a path to war,” Psaki said.

“We think the path to diplomacy is the right path,” she added.

Earlier, Netanyahu’s tweet read: ”The proposal enables Iran to develop atomic bombs and build long-range missiles to reach the U.S. and Europe,” it read. “Iran is getting everything and giving nothing.”

Psaki said she saw the tweet Friday but had no response to it, according to the Israel-based Ynet news site.

The U.S. official reiterated though that Israel and the United States had the same goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

“The place where we diverge a bit is on the tactical level, where we believe we need a first step that halts Iran's program to give us time to negotiate this long-term agreement and they believe we should just keep upping the pressure on Iran to get them to capitulate all at once to a long-term agreement,” Psaki said.

“We don't, obviously, think that's a path that is possible.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday he understands Israel's “deep concerns” over Iran's nuclear program and that the two allies share the same goal in curbing the perceived threat, although they differ in tactics.

“We're having a very friendly and civil conversation about this,” Kerry told MSNBC. “I respect completely his deep concerns - as a prime minister of Israel should have - about the existential nature of this threat to Israel. We understand that.”