U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Israel Radio Monday morning that Israel and the United States have identical goals regarding Iran, and that both are seeking to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Shapiro said that in today’s meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu they will decide the details of their “common mission,” with full coordination and, as he put it, with no surprises.
Which means the Americans are well aware of Israel’s anxiety regarding such a surprise, much as Taiwan was surprised one morning, back in 1979, to discover that the United States had switched diplomatic recognition from them as the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China next door. Oh, President Jimmy Carter, always the life of the party…
Shapiro insisted that both countries are in agreement that the Iranian problem must be resolved through diplomatic means, but are also united in their position that Tehran must prove with real steps what Shapiro called “the nice words” of President Rouhani. Those steps, Shapiro said, should bring about a significant agreement guaranteeing that Iran would not possess nuclear weapons.
Shapiro added that Jerusalem and Washington share information regarding Iran’s nuclear program, and that their cooperation is unprecedented. But he would not say whether or when the U.S. would lift the sanctions against Iran.
He suggested the upcoming meetings between Secretary Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif will determine how far Iran is prepared to advance in exchange for the West easing economic pressures.