Iran Diplomat Turns Charm Offensive on Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -

While Israel watches anxiously from the sidelines, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who heads his government’s delegation to the P5+1 talks in Geneva, offered direct, if vague, reassurance to the Israeli public that its security concerns would be satisfied.

When asked on Israel Radio on Wednesday whether Israel could “live with” Iran’s proposed concessions in its nuclear program, Araqchi answered in the affirmative, and said that an agreement would “open new horizons in our relations with all of these states.”

Meanwhile, speaking before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz articulated the Israeli position:

“The State of Israel is not closing the door to a diplomatic solution. If an agreement is signed preventing Iran from having nuclear capabilities, we will be happy with it,” Steinitz explained, saying the agreement should follow “the Libyan model” but not “the North Korean model.”

As far as Israel is concerned, Tehran can use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, but only if it buys nuclear fuel from other countries, he said.

At the same time, though, Steinitz said “we’re worried Geneva 2013 will end up like Munich 1938,” which allowed Nazi Germany to annex Czechoslovakia and led then-British prime minister Neville Chamberlain to announce there would be “peace in our time.”