Israel’s hard line on enrichment made sense, Dubowitz said.

“It’s actually helpful for the administration for the Israelis to talk about enrichment,” he said. “It helps to make the case that the enrichment has to be very, very small.”

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A Foreign Ministry official in Germany, one of the six powers in talks with Iran, told JTA that a deal would “probably allow Iran more centrifuges, more enrichment than Israel would like.”

However, Tobias Tunkel, the deputy head of the division of the German Foreign Ministry that deals with Israel, said the major powers “will make sure it is watertight that allows no breakout.”

Sherman in her speech said that if the talks fail, “responsibility will be seen by all to rest with Iran.”

Trita Parsi, the director of the National Iranian American Council, a group that has strongly backed the talks, said that positioning Iran to take the blame should the talks fail was a key message for Sherman, but added that the reverse held as well: Should Congress, spurred by pro-Israel groups, scuttle a deal, it would be blamed.

“If there is a deal and the entire world is ready for it,” he said, “it’s going to be very costly for the Congress to push against it.”

(JTA)

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