Chad’s Morning Brief: White House Officials Still Evaluating Approach With Israel, Iran Deal Would Ease Sanctions, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for March 20, 2015
Netanyahu Walks Back Comments
The White House seems to be ready to punish Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu even after the Prime Minister walked back comments he made days before the election. According to POLITICO, administration officials aren't backing away from future plans on how to deal with Israel.
“I don’t want a one-state solution,” Netanyahu told NBC News in an interview broadcast Thursday. “I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that circumstances have to change.”
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So far, it’s not helping him get back in the White House’s good graces, and administration officials said they aren’t backing away from plans to “re-evaluate” its approach to dealing with the conflict.
“We believe he changed his position just a few days ago,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, asked about the interview on Thursday. “So certainly,” she added, “we can’t forget about those comments.”
The United States has been protecting Israeli interests in the United Nations in service of negotiations to achieve a two-state solution, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Thursday.
“This is a principle that he no longer subscribes to, and that his nation no longer subscribes to. That means the United States needs to rethink our approach,” Earnest said.
Netanyahu repeated his denial that he’d changed his position in an interview to be broadcast Thursday evening with Fox News Channel. But he also made it clear that he views himself as having a mandate to continue his hard line against negotiating with the Palestinian Authority while it’s in a unity government with Hamas.
“I think that you can’t force the people of Israel, who’ve just elected me by a wide margin, to bring them peace and security, to secure the state of Israel, to accept terms that would endanger the very survival of the state of Israel,” he told FOX.
I can't see the relationship getting any better between Obama and Netanyahu. Though I can see the relationship getting even worse if the White House deals on Iran. Netanyhu and Obama are two very different leaders. We all know this is true.
Lawmakers Don't Trust Iran
President Obama and administration officials are trying to work out a deal with Iran. According to FOX News, full details aren't out yet but the U.S. would ease sanctions while allowing Iran to enrich uranium..The report from FOX mentions that not everyone is all that happy about the deal.
International sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy for years would be immediately eased and the Islamic Republic could continue to enrich uranium under the terms of a deal being hammered out in Geneva between Tehran and six world powers, according to a report Thursday.
Citing a draft that would serve as a framework for a 10-year deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, The Associated Press reported that Iran would be allowed to operate 6,000 enrichment centrifuges it claims are for peaceful purposes -- while getting immediate relief from international economic sanctions.
U.S. lawmakers skeptical of Iran’s true intentions raised fresh concerns about the deal in a letter Thursday to the White House.
“Iran’s role in fomenting instability in the region -- not to mention Iran’s horrendous repression at home -- demonstrates the risks of negotiating with a partner we cannot trust,” stated the letter, whose signatories included majorities of both parties.
So far this deal doesn't sound good at all. Lawmakers in the Senate have been called irresponsible for sending that letter to Iran. Seems to me they were right.
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